Town backs ‘major renovation’

Desiner's plans for the Festival Hall EMN-151022-113120001
Desiner's plans for the Festival Hall EMN-151022-113120001
  • Residents throw support behind costly project to revamp ‘deteriorating’ community hall
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Market Rasen’s Festival Hall is one step closer to a major refurbishment after a study found ‘strong community support’ for the project.

Business associate Nicola Marshall has submitted a ‘feasibility study final report’ to Market Rasen Town Council, which outlines a need for significant investment in the hall.

Business associate Nicola Marshall with designers' plans for a modern Festival Hall. Also pictured hall user Paul Hiley from Market Rasen New Life Church

Business associate Nicola Marshall with designers' plans for a modern Festival Hall. Also pictured hall user Paul Hiley from Market Rasen New Life Church

Ms Marshall said: “Significant areas of work and investment are required to bring the Festival Hall into a profitable, fit-for-the-future venue.

“Structural surveys show that major renovation work and a comprehensive modernization programme are required; failing this the building will continue to deteriorate and incur costly repairs and maintenance.

“The Festival Hall is not a profitable concern at present.

“There is strong support from the local community and existing hirers of the venue to see the Festival Hall retained and developed as a modern, attractive community building for the town.

“The community and hirers value the Festival Hall’s space and location but would like to see the fabric of the building improved internally and externally and for it to have a generally more welcoming ambiance.

“The community’s response to the proposed plans was positive,but there was also a view that a new build may be a better option.”

Ms Marshall said feedback from a community consultation showed a demand for more public events, more activities for young people, soft play and more health and exercise classes.

And she said local people and groups have already offered their expertise and energy to develop new activities and areas of business, such as plays, pantos and concerts.

Her recommendations include setting up a steering group with members of the community, hirers and users to complement the existing town council Festival Hall committee and exploring funding from Big Lottery Awards For All for new activities. Ms Marshall also suggests reducing costs and increasing marketing.

The community hall, built in 1972, needs extensive work, including a new weather-proof roof, which is estimated to cost £100,000 
alone.

Before the council can apply for funding for a refurbishment it must demonstrate how desperately residents need the 
facility.

Ms Marshall said various events will be put on over the coming months.

Market Rasen Town Council will now make a decision on how to proceed. The feasibility study was funded with a grant from West Lindsey District Council’s Community Asset Fund.

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