The main roof of the squash club was damaged in the storms of November 2016 and began to leak badly. The combination of aging roof tiles and high wind meant that the rood over the two squash courts had to be urgently replaced. The challenge facing the not for profit club that is the only indoor sports building (excluding school halls) on Exmoor was funding.

The club launched its fundraising activities in December 2016. The club raised sufficient funding from:

  • The club’s insurer agreed to pay half of the replacement cost of the roof.
  • Dulverton Town Council made a generous grant.
  • The club members launched a crowdfunding appeal supported by the excellent folk at Podium Partners. Sponsored activities included a litter pick and a sponsored squashathon.
  • The club had a small contingency fund that it had put by for such an event.
  • Rob Brown, a local builder and former player provided three weeks of free labour to replace the roof.

The good news is that in October 2017 the work to replace the main roof was completed. The squash courts are now dry again and the club has been saved. Furthermore, the insulation of the roof has been improved to reduce heat loss.

The club also managed to secure a very generous grant from the Exmoor Trust to install a photovoltaic (PV) solar array in place of roof tiles. The electricity generated by the PV array will significantly reduce the club’s running costs. The largest annual cost of the club is that of heating and lighting which is split 80%/20%. The club is now in the process of updating its heating system to run predominantly off free electricity from batteries charged by the PV.

Unfortunately, more bad news hit us in 2017. The roof of the changing rooms also needed urgent replacement and the club had no money left. A local and anonymous charitable trust heard of our plight and granted us the money to completely replace the rooves. This is work in progress and it is expected to be completed in early November.

The club has been made watertight again and is out of immediate danger of closing. However, the building still requires significant repairs to its external walls.

The club switched its focus from saving the club from the immediate problem of a leaking roof to ensuring its long-term sustainability for future generations of squash players. Much of this has been achieved with the new, thermally efficient roof, solar electricity to provide heating and lighting. The final phase of the club’s Green Agenda is not just repair the walls but to add an additional layer of external thermal insulation covered by a durable thin coat render. This will greatly reduce the heat loss through the walls of the building, thereby further reducing our running costs. The planning and fundraising for this, our final phase, has started, watch this space…