The Blackburn Community Association created an interior enhancement plan and successfully secured $30,000 in funding from Northern Development through the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program for the $43,000 project. The project was successful and resulted in attractive and modern updates.
“Since the interior updates we have experienced a significant increase in the quantity of bookings,” Jamie Kranrod, president of the Blackburn Community Association, enthusiastically shared. “It’s been a 30 per cent increase in rental revenue in the first year following the renovation!”
Major pieces of the revitalization included replacing the flooring throughout the main hall, stage, stairs and entrance. The walls were coated with fresh paint and new furnishings were placed in the foyer. The sound system and acoustics were reviewed, the stereo equipment was upgraded and new acoustic panels were placed on the wall.
The Blackburn Community Hall hosts a variety of functions. The updated space provides opportunities for skill development, volunteerism, socializing, physical activity, celebrations and much more. It is evident that these upgrades were desired by the community as volunteers laboured for nearly 300 hours to ensure the work was completed on time and on budget.
Completing these renovations was part of a two-phase plan to increase awareness and usage of the hall. For the second phase Northern Development stepped up and provided more than $12,000 for the purchase of an electronic billboard for the hall. Currently, 12 businesses pay to advertise on the electronic billboard and six in-kind advertisers contribute to maintenance and other needs of the hall. The benefits of this sign are two-fold: to provide an additional revenue stream for the Blackburn Community Association by offering advertising packages to local businesses and hall renters and to promote events in a modern and highly visible way.
In total, the Trust provided the Blackburn Community Association with $42,850 for the projects that had a combined budget of $68,810. The majority of funding came from the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program for the physical upgrades inside the hall. The Marketing Initiatives program provided $12,850 for the purchase and installation of the electronic sign.