Widecombe Community Hall CIO (registered charity number 1182621) was formed in March 2019 to progress the work of the Steering Group, by completing the design and build process and taking on the eventual running of the new hall. Eight charity Trustees meet regularly to review plans, co-ordinate fundraising efforts and manage the project of getting a new community hall up-and-running for the local community.
How it all began
In May 2016 an open meeting was held at Widecombe Church House to discuss the needs and views of Parishioners on the existing provision of community hall facilities within the Widecombe area and ideas for improvement.
Whilst it was appreciated that we are fortunate to have usage of such an historic building which is full of character available for local community groups and private hire, some challenges were discussed:
Access to the first floor for those with impaired mobility
Lack of flexibility for usage – two meeting rooms of the same fixed size which cannot be hired independently
Relatively small floor area which excludes some functions and activities
High running and maintenance costs & heating with limited options to improve within a listed building
Limited direct on-site parking with direct competition during Church functions
Minimal secure storage for regular use community groups
Low capacity, first floor kitchen adding complexity when catering for large groups
A small steering group of volunteers was formed to assess these comments and see if there is the possibility, within Widecombe, of developing additional community resource to increase the facilities available within the Village.
Following the completion of the formal Feasibility Study and a parish vote, there is clear evidence of support for proceeding with the project and plans are now being drawn up ready for a planning application to be submitted. The group is also applying for charitable status in order to move the project forwards.