£250k needed for new village hall

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:15 12 June 2018

An artisit's impression of the village hall planned for Congresbury.

An artisit's impression of the village hall planned for Congresbury.

Archant

A quarter of a million pounds must be raised by Congresbury villagers to ensure a much-needed hall is created, with a cash appeal set to be launched.

Congresbury New Village Hall Development Trust needs people to back its bid to build a multi-use facility at the King George V Playing Fields, in Stonewell Drive – home to the village’s cricket and tennis clubs.

The project is expected to cost £1.5-1.8milllion, with the trust hoping to raise £400,000 from villagers’ pledges.

Pledge forms will be delivered around Congresbury in the coming weeks, which will ask villagers to make a ‘non-binding promise’ they will later invest in community shares or donate via a buy-a-brick scheme.

The community share scheme will allow villagers to invest £200 or more in the development – which has secured outline planning permission through a Community Right to Build order.

The remainder of the cash, totalling more than £1million, will be accrued through grants, money from developers through Section 106 agreements and Community Infrastructure Levy payments, and loans.

Ian Sheppard, spokesman for the project, warned the project may collapse if not enough villagers back the project.

He said: “At this time we are asking for pledges so that we can show potential funders the community can raise a significant sum towards the total build cost.

“The share offer and brick scheme will open sometime at the end of this year or early next.

“Failure to reach at least the £250,000 minimum could mean the project is not progressed any further.

“It is a lot of money, but as a community working together we just need to show by pledging our own money, we can make it happen.

“The development committee has pledged £20,000 between them.”

The trust aims to see the building open by the end of next year, and hopes it will improve wellbeing and create a stronger sense of community in Congresbury.

The project team will host drop-in information sessions at The Precinct, in Brinsea Road, on June 23 and July 7 from 9-11am, or at the Old School Rooms, in Station Road, on June 25 and 28 from 7.30-9.30pm.


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