Council supports Leaf Hall

The Leaf Hall Trust held an open evening for support of its fund raising efforts for urgent repairs to the roof of the building. (L to R); Cllr Margaret Bannister, trustees Ben Cooper and Gina Leonard, the Mayor of Eastbourne Cllr Mike Thompson, Cllr Steve Wallis and trustees Teri Sayers-Cooper and Jason Rice. September 12th 2013 E37306P
The Leaf Hall Trust held an open evening for support of its fund raising efforts for urgent repairs to the roof of the building. (L to R); Cllr Margaret Bannister, trustees Ben Cooper and Gina Leonard, the Mayor of Eastbourne Cllr Mike Thompson, Cllr Steve Wallis and trustees Teri Sayers-Cooper and Jason Rice. September 12th 2013 E37306P
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Eastbourne Borough Council threw its support behind the Leaf Hall Trust’s fundraising campaign at a full council meeting on Wednesday.

Trustee Terri Sayers-Cooper spoke at the meeting to ask councillors to recognise the building’s historic and iconic status in the town and back the major fundraising appeal that aims to raise £30,000 to fix the hall’s leaking roof.

After Cllr Steve Wallis, who submitted the motion to the council, and Terri spoke, a vote was taken with a unanimous result in favour.

The campaign, called The Leaf Must Not Fall, is appealing for people to sponsor a slate at the cost of £10 each to help reach the necessary total in time for Leaf Hall’s 150th anniversary next year.

The Leaf Hall is the oldest public building in the town and aims to offer the community a place for the arts, entertainment, exhibitions, workshops and regular classes for people of all ages and all abilities.

Cllr Wallis, councillor for the Devonshire Ward in which the Leaf Hall lies, said, “It really is an iconic building and people want to use it to its full capacity. It is in need of some TLC but it’s a challenge.

“We are looking to raise the profile as well as the £30,000 needed for the roof and £10,00 for other repairs.”

The Leaf Hall, or the Workmen’s Hall as it was first known, was given to the local community by philanthropist William Leaf, who laid the foundation stone in 1863 which can still be seen on the side of the building.

The community arts centre has received much support from local businesses, such as Brewers and Sainsbury’s, as well as the general public.

Next year, the building will celebrate 150 years since its opening in 1864 and the Trust hopes its future is secured in time for the celebrations.

Cllr Barry Taylor also spoke on the matter before the motion went to a vote and, after pledging his cross-party support and urging councillors to put their hand in their pockets and sponsor a slate, he said, “Let’s set ourselves a challenge. Let’s get the roof fixed and, as the crowning glory, get that clock fixed too.”

Many councillors were quick to sponsor a slate during the meeting. To do the same, visit www.leafhall.co.uk.