The potential loss of our village 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.
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'.
A modernisation programme will make the hall much more attractive. We hope to gain a larger hall with theatre and cinema facilities, a second room, larger that the School Fields Hall, a new, modern kitchen, a new toilet suit, better storage facilities and WiFi.
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 33 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 second function room (about 53 sq m).