Community funding for new village project
Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) recently awarded a £5,000 grant towards an ambitious project to build a new community facility in the village of Bishops Hull. The project arose due to the need to replace the existing and well-used parish hall, which had provided a popular venue for the village for over 30 years.
Richard Holland, Chairman of Bishops Hull Hub Limited explained: “Bishops Hull is a thriving community located on the edge of Taunton, with a population of around 3,000 people. The existing building is a second-hand timber structure which was moved from a local school in the 1980s to serve as a temporary church hall so, as a retired architect, I knew that although we’ve certainly made the most of it over the years, it was rapidly coming to the end of its safe life.”
Cllr John Hunt added: “We have recently been awarded £50,000 Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding for the construction of 50 new builds in the village, and with new families soon to move in and the community rapidly expanding, it was time to start thinking about building something new for the future use of the residents.”
Bishops Hull Hub Limited was set up in 2017 to manage the planning and construction of a new community facility in the village. It will provide a modern secular building for the benefit of all the residents of the village.
Jon Lee, Vice Chairman, continued: “We hope to be on site by July 2019, which will be the start of the build, with the aim of completing in 2020. We’ve a big task ahead of us and we’re a small group, but this has really boosted the morale of the village and brought us together as a whole. There are lots of people working on this project who previously didn’t know each other – there’s a real community spirit here.”
The parish church, which owns the site but does not have the available funds to replace the hall, has agreed to grant a ‘peppercorn’ lease of the land to Bishops Hull Hub Limited, who will take responsibility for the construction, future management and maintenance of the new hall, for the village community of Bishops Hull.
Lee Hart, Partner at Clarke Willmott LLP said: “We’re delighted to support the fantastic work Bishops Hull Hub have planned for the new building. The grant from Somerset Community Foundation includes £2,000 from the Clarke Willmott Fund and will go towards paying for professional fees - which will in turn help the group trigger the release of further funds. We’re looking forward to seeing the progress of the build!”
Pictured above: L-R: Jon Lee, Cllr John Hunt, Amanda Gallacher, Leanne Lee, David Manning and Richard Holland all of Bishops Hull Hub Limited, and Lee Hart from Clarke Willmott.