Presentation by Mr Houseago on the Bourne Town Hall restoration project, and information on how the Council can offer support to community groups.
Bourne Town Hall Restoration Project
Charles Housego gave a presentation on the Bourne Town Hall restoration project. The aim of the project had been to create a small community arts centre and to restore the aesthetics and structure of the original building. Some interim works had been funded by the South Kesteven Community Fund and these were completed in June 2019. A business plan for the final scheme had been produced; 1.8m would be needed to undertake the full scope of works including building repairs, removal of steelwork and the fitting of an auditorium. Lincolnshire County Council currently held the lease for the building as custodians. If the 1.8m funding were to be raised, this title would pass to the Town Hall Trust. Funding was yet to be secured, but the Town Hall Trust were putting together an expression of interest for heritage lottery funding. If accepted to proceed, a bid would be made in Spring 2020.
Following the completion of the interim works to the building earlier in the year, a programme of events had begun in the spirit of the final vision, including live music, comedy, theatre, talks and workshop events. The Town Hall Trust would not be offering a room hire function and wished to be developed and known primarily as an arts venue. Mr Housego explained that the Trust were keen to support heritage events, significant town events, and charitable activities. Following the success of the pop-up cinema over the summer, it was also planned that film showings would be held on the last weekend of each month going forward. All of the events would be supported by volunteers. Mr Housego expressed his gratitude for the support of Michael Cross of InvestSK, as well as Lincolnshire County Council and Bourne Town Council.
Deepings Youth Group
Jayne Reed from the Deepings Youth Group shared her experience of how interaction with the Council via InvestSK had supported their community group. With the support of InvestSK, collaborative work had been undertaken at the nature reserve between youths and a local artist to cover some graffiti with a floral art display using spray paints. Their names had been included next to the finished piece, which had added to the youths’ sense of accomplishment and the experience had been very positively received. Further work with InvestSK was in the pipeline for the Youth Group.
The Chairman made reference to the young person’s evening at the Don’t Lose Hope Café in Bourne, which was also carrying out valuable work in the community. It was highlighted that by providing the appropriate level of input at the right time, the Council could support local community groups in similar ways across the District.
Recommendations from the Community Asset Toolkit item:
Ø Charles Housego and Jayne Reed were thanked for their contribution to the meeting.
Ø It was acknowledged that positive work and support had been offered by Local Councils, SKDC Officers and InvestSK to provide support for the community initiatives discussed.
Ø To encourage co-operation and support between community groups, including joint working to provide support for new groups.