We have been dreaming about a new village hall for our community for many years now, in 2015 the village was canvassed and following the vote in favour of a new village hall plans were successfully submitted to Rother District Council in 2017 for a hall on the sports field site in the heart of the village.
The successful application was contingent on widening the entranceway to the site and once grant funding had been secured this work was carried out by local contractors. In addition, planning permission has now been secured in perpetuity by the successful laying of selective foundations for the new hall.
In order to secure funding we needed to ensure the lease agreement with the trustees of the Ashburnham Estate was agreeable to all parties. Following discussions via their agents, Strutt & Parker the parish council was extremely pleased with the outcome. The Estate has made generous provisions to protect the community facilities for current and future generations with the signing of a new 50 year lease in the summer of 2021.
The pandemic put the brakes on our meetings, plans and fundraising for two years but the New Village Hall Committee is up and running again!
The committee is busy finalising plans so that specifications can be drawn up and costs listed. This information will be vital in any grant applications so it is an important part of the committee’s current work
We have had regular meetings with a mentor from Charity Mentors Sussex who has been helping draw up plans and funding strategies. This is a free service provided by the charity and has been invaluable in helping us think through the next steps in this project
We hold regular fundraising and community building events throughout the year including the Flower Show and Country Fair, Bonfire and Fireworks, catering for the Vintage Motorcycle Show and we have more events planned including an art show in December this year.
We are currently researching grant funding streams and will be putting together bids once we have all the information concerning the build that we need.
For more information
The Parish Council has set up a committee of the parish council with advisory powers. It is called the New Hall Steering Group, is chaired by Cllr. Richard White and meets regularly. Members include Clive O’Sullivan, Chris Sinden, Ron King, Keith Finch, Jay Ashworth, Nicky Bishop. Minutes of the meetings can be found here
Paul Clark made this fantastic model of the hall to help us all visualise it! The plans are for a building that sits well in this part of Sussex, part of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and provides our community with a large meeting space suitable for parties, the flower show, performances, exhibitions, sports and classes. In addition there will be a smaller community room, fully equipped kitchen, accessible toilets and storage spaces. It promises to be a wonderful resource for our community.