Villagers asked to pledge £250k for community hall

PUBLISHED: 08:00 15 June 2018

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

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


Congresbury New Village Hall Development Trust has called on people to support its plans to build a multi-use complex at the King George V Playing Fields, in Stonewell Drive - home to the village's cricket and tennis clubs.

With the cost of the project forecast to be £1.5-1.8milllion, the trust aims to raise £400,000 from villagers’ pledges.

Pledge forms will be posted through letter boxes in the coming weeks, requesting 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 it does not receive backing from villagers.

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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