Friday, 19 September 2008

Hurrah!! No Bats in OUR Belfry!

OK - so great, the Batman cameth and found nothing. This is good news for us and good news for the bats. Though there are bats in the vicinity of the building there is no evidence of roosts at all. We will continue to be vigilant throughout the project, but it looks like the pigeons have the building all to themselves...... for now..............

We had an informal meeting with the Building Conservation and Planning Officer prior to the formal application being submitted. It was extremely positive overall, and Kevin and Tessa will continue to work with him as the process continues.

Cardiff Council's maintenance team have started work, and replaced some sections of guttering and also removed most of the buddlea and killed off the ivy on the main tower. A fantastic start.

We have now engaged Mechanical and Electrical consultants, Hoare Lee, they will design the energy systems and essential lighting, security etc.

We have also engaged Quantity Surveyors, Parry and Dawkin who are already hard at work with their calculators, rulers and all ten fingers each in order to give us a full costing of the project.

As ever, if you would like more information please get in touch.


Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Draft Plans and more....

The Project Team have now all been to the Annexe and seen how we use that space. They have also seen Tabu and met with the rigging team on site in Taunton. It was a great visit, seeing the show and the Annexe means that both the architects and the structural engineers have a much better understanding of what Nofitstate needs from the new building.

We now have draft plans for the ground floor and the proposed layout of the first floor, if anyone would like to see these please give me a call. I will publish them on this site at a later date. We are hoping to restore all the stained glass windows and return some of the rooms to their original state, this will involve sourcing lots of reclaimed and salvage materials, so if anyone can help with this please let me know. The building will house the main training hall, a secondary workshop room, the parlour, staff room, storage, administration and showers and toilets.

I am now in the process of meeting with local groups and organisations to inform people of our plans, if you know of any you think I should meet, I would love to hear from you.

Cardiff Council's maintenance team will be removing ivy and buddleia this week...................

Tuesday, 22 July 2008


This week it's all about Bats again. Mike has been trying to find someone to carry out a Bat Survey to find out if we have any. If we do this may have implications for the build process so it needs to be done early and also needs to be sent with the planning application. Can't imagine any self respecting Bat would be living anywhere near that amount of pigeon poo though!

We have the Structural Engineers Report from Pat and the good news is that the building is in a reasonable condition and CAN be restored if the essential maintenance is carried out very soon.

On Thursday the team from Four Elms will be visiting the Tour and seeing Tabu for the first time. We are also expecting our first set of draft plans from Kevin - very exciting. More on all this next week........

Thursday, 10 July 2008

This week at Four Elms we have had the building crawling with men in Hiv-is and hard hats. Very exciting!

Pat has started the full survey, this has entailed taking out sections of the floor in the main hall and sections of the roof to check for rot etc. The good news is that the floor in the main hall is of great quality and may be salvageable. Pat is also designing the ‘portal frame and rig’ which will replace the roof struts and create our circus rig. As part of this there are now also big holes going down to foundation level.

We are waiting for Bat Survey quotes to come in, but looking very expensive!

Mike Cox (Project Manager) and Mike Williams (CCC) had a successful meeting on site and the council have agreed to remove the ivy from the towers and the buddleia from the building they may also sort out the guttering, this will make a huge difference and halt the decline of the building over the winter before work starts in April. Thank you Cardiff Council.

The photos show Pat and Mike down the hole and the stage.

FECC photos taken Spring/Summer 2008

Sunday, 6 July 2008

A home for Nofitstate Circus!!

I have set up this blog to keep anyone who is interested informed about our plans for the Four Elms Centre on Four Elms Road, just off Clifton Street and Newport Road. 

Cardiff Council have offered us a lease on this building. To date we have taken on an architect, Kevin Sutton of DaviesSutton Architects. Pat Ruddock is our Structural Engineer who
will design the 'state of the art' portal frame and rig! Mike Cox is our external Project Manager. 

Over the next few months I will post all the news here as the project progresses. We have a long way to go before this is a 'done deal' but we are extremely hopeful. The building has not been used for over a decade and is in a terrible state of disrepair. It is Grade 2 listed and will require sensitive renovation as well as elements of new build before it is fit for purpose. 

As part of the process we will also gather historical information about the Elms Centre and would love to hear from anyone who knew it in the past.

Please contact me on 029 20221330 if you have any information. 

Cheers Sam
Samantha Minas
Project Officer - FECC