New Hall

The latest on progress towards our new Hall.

A new hall in 2010

At last we’ve made some financial headway with replacing the hall. The Community Council of Devon, acting on behalf of Devon County Council, has awarded us a grant of £24,000, which means that we can plan a new building. Last night (30th September) the trustees met to discuss the offer and agreed to accept it, which means that it has to be spent by next September!

Another £40,000 has been raised by the community. This is thought to be one of the principal reasons behind the offer.

The trustees now have to produce a detailed plan, seek an amendment to the planning permission and write a business plan.

We felt that the moment had to be seized. We might never attract as big a grant again and so might never succeed in rebuilding the hall. This does mean that we have a big financial challenge still to meet: how we raise another third of all the money we need and how we do it quickly.

Work will have to start on a new hall in the spring and be completed by the autumn.

We shall try for every small grant available but may need support from the community if the goal is to be achieved. We hope everyone will think it worthwhile – and be ready to lend a hand.

The end of a valley era and the beginning of another

In a little over a fortnight work will start on dismantling the Nissen hut that has served us so well as our village hall. It will be taken to Dunkeswell where it will be rebuilt and opened as a museum of wartime artefacts.

Our new hall will start to go up soon afterwards, perhaps by the end of March. In three or four months after that, it will be complete and can be opened.

It’s all happened very quickly after a long time in which it seemed it never would. And having tried so hard for grants that were never offered, we have now attracted three in no time at all. In all, we will receive £36,000 to add to the £41,000 the community had raised for itself. The result, as things stand, is a shortfall of only about £12,000.

But that amount of money stands in the way of getting the job done on time.

We hope that the community will help us once more. In the next few days, a trustee will be in touch with you to arrange a time at which he or she can explain what we are doing and ask if you would be prepared to offer a loan or a gift. We have an attractive way of offering you a return on your money.

At the meeting, you will be given papers that you can consider before giving your answer.

We hope that you will agree to an appointment and that you may be able to help.

In the meantime, we continue to try for more grant aid – and we continue to say ‘yes’ to anyone who offers his time or materials so that we can get the job done more cheaply.

The prize is a big one: a new, warm and comfortable meeting place at last.

Should you not receive a call asking for an appointment, please contact me before March 16. I shall be able to respond without further delay.

Geoff Elliott
Secretary, Umborne Institute