A financial boost for Hampshire’s community spaces and village halls

Hampshire communities are being given a helping hand to make their buildings financially self-sufficient, thanks to nearly £154,000 in grant funding from Hampshire County Council for modernisation and expansion projects

Sep 19 2019

The funding has been awarded today (19 September 2019) by the County Council’s Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, Councillor Seán Woodward, from the Recreation and Heritage Community Fund 2019/20.

Councillor Woodward said: “Fantastic work is being done across Hampshire’s villages, towns and cities to provide people of all ages with access to good local facilities and activities. We are carefully targeting small investments towards a range of recreation, arts and cultural projects that improve community cohesion and inclusion, and add something to people’s quality of life. We’re also helping to modernise existing community buildings, making them fit for purpose for years to come. Improvements including LED lighting, new roofing, double glazing and altering interior spaces, will ensure that more residents get the most out of them.

“Given the pressure on the County Council finances and demands on services, we’ve had to reduce the amount available to support community organisations over time. We prioritise projects that demonstrate a clear plan that County Council funding will help them become financially self-sustaining, or provide long-term benefit without requiring continued investment. Our contribution is most effective as a catalyst for new activities and facilities that can then continue independently.”

The Recreation and Heritage Community Fund was introduced in January 2019 to simplify the process for community organisations seeking funding; it replaced four funds for different kinds of projects, meaning that local community organisations and projects now only need to apply to one funding scheme.

The nine projects to receive support are:

Basingstoke and Deane

Kempshott Village Hall - £15,000 to refurbish the venue to make it fully accessible for people with disabilities. Work will include level floors, LED lighting, improving existing toilets and creating a new disabled toilet.

The Ramsdell Church and Village Hall - £37,500 towards a new community building as the existing one has served the community well for the last 90 years, but is now not fit for purpose or financially efficient.

East Hampshire

Oakhanger Village Hall - £25,000 towards an extension of the village hall to provide a larger and a second meeting room so that more residents can use the space more flexibly and frequently.

Trustees of Four Marks Village Hall - £9,000 towards the replacement of its flat roof and improvements to the building’s insulation.

Fareham

Locks Heath Free Church - £40,000 towards the conversion of the existing church building into a community space following the completion of a new church building. The community space will include a dedicated pre-school room; kitchenette; toilets; youth suite and multi-use rooms upstairs and downstairs.

Countywide

Blue Apple Theatre - £7,500 to expand work with adults and young people with learning disabilities by taking on more staff to establish new hubs for community outreach. Their overall aim is to generate more income to become self-sustainable.

Winchester

Platform 4 Theatre Company - £2,800 to support a project with participants who are blind or partially sighted. They will record their experiences, memories and stories about climate change, which will then be used for audio to be toured across Hampshire and the UK.

South Wonston Village Hall - £2,137 towards new flooring and remove existing trip hazards.

Test Valley

Stockbridge Town Hall - £15,000 towards the replacement of an existing window and improvements to brickwork to stop draughts and water damage.

Total: £153,937

View the Decision Day papers