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East Boldre Community Hub - Why Do We Need It?
While the shop is not currently for sale it has been for much of the last 3 years. It has failed to attract a buyer as a going concern. The prospect of the shop being sold has highlighted that while it is run as a private business the village has no control over safeguarding this, for many, vital village service.
Consequently, volunteers from the village started a Save Our Shop (SOS) Campaign in May 2017. Through a survey, consultations and a public meeting they established that there's a keen appetite within the village to set up a community shop. 95% of survey respondents said keeping a shop was very important. 15 people volunteered for the steering committee or to give professional advice; 13 to help fundraise; 24 to volunteer in the shop.
However, the SOS team struggled to find suitable premises for a community owned shop. They considered:
With few options left, in 2017 the SOS team joined forces with the Village Hall CIO who started work on proposals to develop the Village Hall into an accessible Community Hub, including space to be leased to the community shop. It is targeted to be completed by the end of 2021.
The potential loss of our shop when it was put on the market was probably the trigger for the Hub development idea but there are many beneficial reasons that support its development.
Watch our Promotional Video Here and Get Involved
If you liked this video, please tell all your friends about it.
Direct YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/RFU9NO8PnxQ
For some years now, our village hall has not generated sufficient rental income to cover its running costs. The hall team has had to supplement its income by holding major events and exhibitions, and by writing and selling the book, 'From Forest Field to Western Front'.
Rent from the Community Shop will help to cover the hall's running costs, providing a predictable source of income helping to secure the Hall's future. 186 homes are within 400m of the Village Hall about the maximum achievable given the ribbon layout of the village, putting the hub and its shop as centrally as possible within the village.
Helping Other Village Charitable Organisations and Causes
The shop will be set up as a Community Benefit Society (CBS). Under CBS rules, surplus monies from the shop are donated to charities benefiting the local community. This includes, but is not limited to, the East Boldre School Fields Trust and the Village Hall CIO, who have also been struggling financially. For more information about how CBSs work see the Hub Organisation.
Currently, the seating capacity of the Village Hall is limited; the storage area at the back is unusable for audience seating and some of the space has restricted visibility of the stage. The new hub plans improve the layout, increasing the seating available and so hosting visiting productions is more cost effective.
The current stage is not accessible to all and the changing rooms and storage are limited. The lighting and the audio-visual equipment are dated. The hub development will address these issues and will hopefully be at least partially supported by Arts related funding.
The Royal Flying Corps established one of the first military flying schools at East Boldre and the air field was expanded during WW1. Locals are proud of East Boldre's military aviation history. The Village hall building was the YMCA Concert Hall and crucially, will be preserved as part of the hub development. A permanent exhibition of East Boldre's aviation history based on that developed for the centenary celebrations will be displayed throughout the hub.
Additional Function Room
Most Village Halls around us have 2 function rooms (Pilley, Beaulieu, Sway). Since the conversion of the changing rooms to a meeting room (about 40 sq. m) there have been many occasions where both the main hall and meeting room are in use. Our current plans provide for a larger basement function room (about 100 sq M) which will be dividable for flexibility.
Page updated on 16 May 2020
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