Update on Wednesday, January 20: Directors of the Buxted Community Hall Trust were re-appointed at the organisation’s annual meeting last night.
They are co-chairmen Nick Tricker and Sheila Bartholomew, company secretary/treasurer George Claydon, fund-raisers Eileen Claydon and Pauline Bonner, and Chris Hitchins. New to the board is Cllr Jonathan Milner.
Sheila reviewed the fourth year of operation, at the meeting which was held at Buxted Reading Room, saying that events held each month had been successful and well-attended.
The first event this year is a sell-out Indian Cookery Demonstration in February and future events will be posted on the Buxted Community Hall website.
A total £9,000 has been raised through small events, including donations from village clubs and individuals.
Mountain to climb
Sheila said: “Yes there is still a mountain to climb to raise the money to finish the project but the strategic fund-raising committee is busy preparing grant foundation applications.”
She said continued support and efforts to fund-raise within the community would be very important when applying for grants.
George Claydon reported the trust had £19,000 in its account, Buxted Parish Council had £32,000 earmarked towards the hall project and a grant of £109,000 was lodged with the parish council as part of a 106 planning agreement. A further £100,000 is expected from the Ionides Trust meaning that about £260,000 in funds is available at the moment.
Nick said sufficient money had been raised to start work on the hall, but not to complete it.
An architect had been appointed to produce more detailed plans towards delivering the first phase of the project. A structural engineer had also been appointed and the trustees were confident the two would see them through the design process, appointment of contractors and construction work on the site.
The first phase of work would start this year. That would be ground works, car parking, paths, roads, earth moving and foundations of the new hall.
Nick said the trustees were also discussing how the site would be left between completion of the first phase and the beginning of the second phase, construction of the hall itself.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if Wealden changed its planning policy so that we were able to sell the Reading Room and put the proceeds towards the new hall,” he added.
• A condition of the planning permission for the new hall was that use of the Reading Room, in Church Road, ceases. The Reading Room will have to be permanently emptied with all services disconnected. Read more in a previous Uckfield News story: Buxted villagers win community hall planning battle.
Our original story on December 23: Groundworks should begin in 2016 for a new £1 million village hall for Buxted if everybody pulls together on fund-raising, according to project trustees.
More than £250,000 has already been collected and the trustees are renewing efforts to galvanise support, writes Cathy Watson.
- Making a significant donation and having their name displayed as a benefactor on a decorative plaque
- Making a regular contribution or a small one-off gift
- Being involved in the fund-raising campaign, helping to raise awareness and money
They are also asking whether surveyors, lawyers, professional fund-raisers or experienced project managers, would be prepared to donate time and expertise.
The annual meeting of Buxted Community Hall Trust is due to be held on Tuesday, January 19, and people interested in learning more or getting involved are invited to go along.
The meeting will be held in the Reading Room at 7.30pm.
The trust says: “The new hall will provide huge benefits to the residents of the parish, from the elderly to the very young.
“The community will be able to enjoy the benefits of a warm, comfortable, modern, safe space for everything from children’s clubs and parties to exercise classes, meetings and shows.
“The design provides multi-purpose, welcoming rooms. It will have two halls, a large one with an adjacent smaller one, positioned to enable the use of the two together for activities such as theatrical productions.
“There will be a generous kitchen and a lobby area, with gallery space, that will be used as a cafe and meeting point, overlooking the nearby playground. All facilities will be accessible to people with disabilities..”
The trustees say Buxted has always lacked a focal point and Ionides land, which already accommodates the new doctors’ surgery, Scout Hut Rifle Club and playground, provides a central green and pleasant location on which to build.
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