Last updated: 4th June 2021
South Square’s Garden Management & Maintenance Plan
A Working Document
From November 2020 to June 2021 South Square has undergone a significant capital renovation. The roof, brickwork and 99 sash windows have been successfully refurbished! Internal works to bring the building up to current day standards for public use have also been completed, for example the introduction of adequate heating alongside updating the electrics and fire safety measures. The Public funding for the building renovation and asset transfer of the building itself, are justifiably dependent on South Square being a shared community space. Thankfully, the Project has been fundamentally important in securing, for many years to come, a creative community asset for Thornton. The final part of this enormous challenge has been to upgrade the rear garden area to ensure the best use of all South Square’s assets, whilst also contributing to the charming nature of much of the surrounding area.
This development coincides with the increased importance on outdoor spaces that Covid-19 has so dramatically illustrated the need for. The success and sustainability of South Square, and all businesses across the district, are dependent on being able to continue to bring people together safely by making the best use of outdoor opportunities.
Due to the position of the rear garden South Square appreciates how important it is that the garden space is monitored and managed effectively to ensure neighbouring residents are not inconvenienced. Careful consideration has been given to ensure appropriate, considerate and safe use of the garden. Measures will be regularly reviewed and include :-
• Visitors will be signposted to access the garden via the courtyard rather than by Priestley street. Signage is visible in the courtyard, in the garden and on Priestley Street. There will also be a sign visible from Thornton road to request that South Square visitors refrain from parking on neighbouring roads (Priestley Street, Enderley Road and Friendly Street).
• The garden gate won’t open from Priestley Street and will only be used as an emergency exit and for loading. A fire escape bolt on the inside of the gate will prevent visitors exiting onto Priestley Street apart from in emergencies.
• Any visitors booking onto workshops or activities hosted in the garden will be informed not to use nearby private roads for parking or driving through when booking.
• The garden’s use will be in the daytime and early evening, Wednesday to Sunday only. The curfew for use of the garden will be 7.30pm apart from for special events. It is envisaged that this will be earlier during autumn and winter months.
• The capacity of the space will be limited and monitored to support social distancing measures and keep noise levels low. It is envisaged that it will not exceed 20 individuals, apart from during special events.
• Fencing is in place to contain the space.
• The garden will be available for South Square tenants to use including Plenty at the Square and The Watchmaker. The Watchmaker has introduced CCTV of the garden which was be viewed behind the bar along with shots of the courtyard and bar areas so that this can be easily monitored by serving staff when they are open. CCTV will also be accessible to SSC and cafe staff. Signs will inform visitors to the courtyard and garden that CCTV is in place.
• Signage will also request that visitors keep the volume of conversations low.
• Ball games will not be permitted.
• Visitors who are unable to adhere to any policies within this management and maintenance plan will be asked to leave.
• The capacity of the courtyard has been maximised, with new bench seating and two 2m x 2m parasols. This is most easily manageable space for both the cafe and bar to utilise, within easy reach of the facilities and so we are going making best use of it. The garden will be opened as an overflow area and monitored when in use.
• The space will be available for groups to book for activities using similar procedures to the community room and meeting rooms, managed via an online google calendar. Activities will be risk assessed and groups will be briefed using the most up to date maintenance plan and the latest Covid procedures in advance.
• If any special events for the garden space are planned, neighbours will be informed at point of booking via garden calendar notifications. At present this includes South Square’s opening weekend of the Centre during the last weekend in June (all welcome!) and Thornton Open Gardens on 10th/11th July.
South Square Public Garden Calendar Link:
• Live music is currently not permitted (May 2021). If and when government restrictions permit live music to be re -introduced the space may host small scale performances, at a volume that is suitable for the space. i.e. acoustic, minimal percussion. Pre-recorded music will not be played apart from on special/occasional events.
• In addition to this management and maintenance plan, South Square has full covid reopening procedures in place and public facing businesses on site have their own risk assessments for each of their activities.
• South Square regularly reviews its policies and procedures with BMDC’s ward officer, Building Control and the Premises Licensing team to ensure we are adhering to all the most up to date locally authority and government guidelines.
The Garden will be a standing item on the Trustee’s board meetings which currently take place every 6 weeks. South Square will respond to any issues as they arise. The use of the garden space will be formally reviewed in September 2021. This is also when BMDC are reviewing premises/entertainment licensing policies across the district.
The proposed opening times for the bar and cafe are detailed here for information only. The garden curfew will still apply.
Plenty at the Square
• Fri, Sat & Sun 10.30-3.30
• The days when the cafe is open are likely to extended over the summer.
• Wed, Thurs 3-9pm, Friday 3-10pm, Saturday 2-10pm, Sunday 1-8pm