Saturday, 22 October 2011

Westgate Hall Canterbury - Ex Army Drill Hall - NEEDS YOUR VOTE!!!!

Dear blogging friends....yes first blog entry this year but thats due to Health, loosing job, geting a new job and.....the purpose of this post ....saving the ex Buffs/East kent Mounted Rifles/TA Artillery drill hall!!! It has been a community centre run by the council since the 1970's and 18 months ago the council voted to demolish it !!! as seen abpve even the Luftwaffe failed in that endeavour!!! 
Being a community Development professional I suggested madly on facebook we could save it by setting up a charitable trust to take over the hall as an asset transfer from the council. Well after immense hard work committeees, negotiations, business plans, events etc etc etc we were granted the hall by Canterbury City Council's cabinet in July. We have also attracted a commercial partner Curzon cinemas to sub lease a part of the hall while we run the remainder as the 'village hall' for Canterbury.

above is an impression of what it will look like once we have taken over and refurbished and re developed the hall

Above us our logo!! what we need is some additional funding for our project to cover the immense leagal fees/planning permissions/architects fees etc etc and we are in the Community First competition to win £6,000 for community projects. We need to be in the top three we are now 4th!! aaaagh so close so if anyone has got a moment help us save the hall by going to  
A Huge thank you from a hardworking and dedicated team!!! also see our website at and below us me the 'ginger haired fellow' with Trust members and some Malaysian Students who helped us recently tidy up the garden at the hall

Below is a photo of one of our well attended events!!

I know its not plastic Kits or Wargame figures BUT it is a part of our military history we are saving and I intend there to be a display within the hall of the halls military past, probably involving the local Western Front Association Group remember vote now Thank you ever so much.... Fraxinus...

We would like your vote to help us secure the Westgate Hall, Canterbury, for the community. Destined for the bulldozer a year ago; we’ve kept it open and are ready to transform it into a modern community space. But we can’t do it without your help.

What does your charity/project do?

Our mission is to preserve, refurbish, and manage the Hall as a community centre for all, we will make sure that activities that were under threat, such as ceroc, salsa, blood donations and antiques & collectables, continue and thrive. Then we will create a space where people of all ages can pursue their interests, learn, play, dance, celebrate and meet. A community cafe will be open to all in the daytime, offering another informal space for meeting. We will build community in Canterbury.

How does your charity/project support the local community?

It is the only large community space remaining within Canterbury’s City Walls. In the words of one of our supporters “All of us, Canterbury old timers and newcomers, are passionate that the Westgate Hall should continue to play its role as a gathering place, an island of stability, where district and city residents and users of all ages can meet, work and play … [it] will make a fundamental contribution to the quality of life in Canterbury … both now and in the years to come.”

What do you plan to use the CommunityForce award for?

The council’s decision to agree in principle to give us a 99 year lease is only the end of the beginning. Whilst we have enthused community and have an incredible amount of pro bono support there is still a lot of work to be done before we can take the keys. We have an urgent need to pay legal fees, draw up and submit renovation plans for a new roof. The hall has been under funded for many years and it needs your support to get it watertight and back on track.