HAILSHAM: New community facility is opened

The new hall replaces two ageing cabins
The new hall replaces two ageing cabins
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AFTER a decade of fundraising efforts, a new, purpose-built community facility has been opened.

The project, to create a community hall and social hub for the Diplocks housing estate in Hailsham, was in the planning stages for more than 10 years. It has seen a number of community organisations and charitable trusts working alongside Hailsham Town Council and Wealden District Council to help raise the £560,000 needed to make the hall become a reality.

The new hall replaces Pooh Kabin, two elderly cabines that had stood on the site since 1992 – the only community facility of any kind on the estate which is officially recognised as one of the more socially deprived areas in East Sussex.

Community Trust Chairman Grace Cameron said, “Diplocks Hall is intended to provide much needed modern, safe accommodation for a wide range of local interest groups.

“It is intended to give a boost to social and economic opportunities in the area and will not only add to and greatly improve the provision of community spaces, it will also enhance the area environmentally.”

The project, developed by the Diplocks Community Trust, was given a major boost in January 2008 when the Big Lottery announced that the Project had been awarded £391,738.

The Trust had to raise the remaining £170,000 before the Big Lottery would allow the work to start.

Thanks to grants from Wealden District Council, Hailsham Town Council and Home Group Housing Association, as well as local and national charitable trusts including Viridor Credits, the target was achieved in autumn 2008 and The Big Lottery gave the go-ahead.

Extra funding was also raised for two special features - a fully professional kitchen for events requiring catering and a training suite where local residents of all ages can learn how to use computers, access the internet and boost job opportunities.

Construction started in April 2009 with the main building completed in March 2010.

Since then the hall with its built-in modern facilities has been undergoing the commissioning and equipping process.

Anyone interested in hiring the hall should contact Julie Keen at 846840 or by email to diplockshall@btinternet.com.

The new hall replaces Pooh Kabin, two elderly cabins that had stood on the site since 1992 – the only community facility of any kind on the estate which is officially recognised as one of the more socially deprived areas in East Sussex.

Community Trust Chairman Grace Cameron said, “Diplocks Hall is intended to provide much needed modern, safe accommodation for a wide range of local interest groups.

“It is intended to give a boost to social and economic opportunities in the area and will not only add to and greatly improve the provision of community spaces, it will also enhance the area environmentally.”

The project, developed by the Diplocks Community Trust, was given a major boost in January 2008 when the Big Lottery announced that the Project had been awarded £391,738.

The Trust had to raise the remaining £170,000 before the Big Lottery would allow the work to start.

Thanks to grants from Wealden District Council, Hailsham Town Council and Home Group Housing Association, as well as local and national charitable trusts including Viridor Credits, the target was achieved in autumn 2008 and The Big Lottery gave the go-ahead.

Extra funding was also raised for two special features – a fully professional kitchen for events requiring catering, and a training suite where local residents of all ages can learn how to use computers, access the internet and boost job opportunities.

Construction started in April 2009 with the main building completed in March 2010.

Since then the hall with its built-in modern facilities has been undergoing the commissioning and equipping process.

Anyone interested in hiring the hall should contact Julie Keen, by calling 846840, or by sending an email to diplockshall@btinternet.com