Congresbury Parish Council and the new village hall project team have reviewed the 418 responses to the recent survey, which showed 266 respondents did not support the council taking out a public works loan.
The survey generated a lot of comment but only 28 per cent of households responded. Obviously this is disappointing and the Development Committee have confirmed their commitment to move the project forward. The project has come so far and many villagers, village organisations and businesses have put a lot of time and effort in support of the project. We can now focus on other funding options.
The project is in a good place with: – grant funding helping us to progress the community share offer and up to £100,000 of matched equity funding available, subject to a formal application. – an expanding pool of volunteers. – the community café making such a promising start we are going to open on the third Saturday of each month – 18 May, 15 June, 20 July & 17 August – until the end of the summer, from 9 – 1pm.
Congresbury needs a new village hall and community centre which not only provides a ‘home’ and supports our sports clubs but will provide a broader range of modern facilities and activities for all age groups in a growing village. As an example in the 2007 Parish survey, young people said they wanted somewhere to meet and chat with their friends. The new building will provide that.
The new village hall is a part of the Council’s Neighbourhood plan and we will continue to work with them to make the new building happen.
There has been a lot of response to the survey and many questions asked. Please click on the link below to access the website homepage where your questions are answered. http://www.congresburyvillagehall.co.uk
The new Congresbury Community Café – Community coffee@Bridge House – was officially opened by Debbie Fortune and Ron Hall. The café is open on Wednesday & Friday mornings from 8.45 to 1pm, with a view to open more often in the future.
The cafe is in Bridge House, part of the Debbie Fortune Estate Agency (https://www.debbiefortune.co.uk/) building who have allowed the use of two rooms and courtyard in line with their continued commitment to local charitable causes across all their offices.
Ron Hall for Congresbury Village Hall Limited who have set up the café said “We could not have done this without the support from Debbie Fortune, Simon Palmer Construction, Howdens Kitchens in Clevedon https://www.howdens.com , Sandra Pogson and grant funding from Congresbury Parish Council, the Bristol Airport Diamond Fund and Tesco bag scheme.”
“Rory Ireland from Bristol Twenty Tea and Coffee company https://bristol-twenty.co.uk/ has been instrumental in setting up the coffee machine, and training a number of willing volunteers how to produce a really good cup of coffee. “
The café is managed by a pool of volunteers providing a range of hot drinks and home-made cakes including gluten free options. The café accepts payment by card and takeaway is available. All profits go towards the costs of building new village hall / community centre.
After some years without a cafe, when Paddingtons closed in Broad Street, a new cafe has opened, in the village, accessed from Broad Street. Situated at the rear of Debbie Fortune estate agent in Bridge House, and generously donated by Debbie to raise funds for the village Community Hall, the cafe is attractively furnished with six tables, seating a maximum of 17, and is totally manned by volunteers. Offering a variety of speciality tea and coffee, and other drinks, together with a choice of delicious home made cakes, baked by villagers, the cafe is now open on Wednesdays and Fridays, 8.45 a.m. – 1 pm. Customers have access to a modern toilet. Approached through the high double wooden gates on Broad Street, there is a charming enclosed courtyard, with seating and tables for the summer. Dogs are not allowed in the cafe, but may be left in the courtyard where water and tying up facilities will be available.
Community Coffee@Bridge House opens its doors on Wednesday 13th February at 8.45am (until 1.00pm) serving up fresh tea & coffee, tea cakes, toast, and homemade cakes. The Coffee Shop is in Bridge House, part of the Debbie Fortune Estate Agency building who have allowed the use of two rooms in line with their continued commitment to local charitable causes across all their offices.
It will initially only be open on Wednesday & Friday mornings with the hope that opening could be extended depending upon use. If you would like to volunteer to work there for all, or part of, a session then please contact Rose Osborne at email@example.com.
Plans for the new village hall/community centre at the King George V Playing Fields have been boosted by a £10,000 grant. The funding comes from Power to Change, an independent charitable trust endowed with £150 million from the Big Lottery Fund to support and develop community business for charitable purposes. The money will allow the project team to develop the community share offer and the business plan for the proposed new building.
The fund-raising team is also negotiating to secure an equity investment from the Community Shares Booster Programme. Under this programme, up to £100,000 is available to match applications for shares from the public. If successful, it would mean that for every pound invested by individuals up to £100,000, another pound will be invested in matched shares.
To read full update including pledges and new community cafe opening click here
We are in discussions with a potential investor willing to make a substantial pledge to help the project achieve its targets, subject to some conditions. If we can finalise this pledge it will be a significant boost to the project and help with our discussions with potential funders. But the community must reach the minimum £250,000 target.
Some 127 pledges have been received so there are well over 2,000 other people in the village who could pledge.
We are working through the feedback we have received and will issue further updates over the next couple of weeks.
Part of the feedback we received from the pledge request for the new village hall, regarded sorting out the pedestrian crossing at the Precinct as some see that as a higher priority.
As I use this crossing daily and have experienced how dangerous it can be. I did write to North Somerset Council (NSC) back in 2012, but as only 1 recorded incident happened in the previous 3 years their only suggestion was using the local speedwatch group to monitor, but that did not happen.
Plans for a new village hall and community centre in Congresbury will enter a critical phase in the next few months.
So far more than £71,000 has been raised towards the project with £8,200 raised last year. In the next couple of months, the project volunteers will issue an invitation to pledge money towards the build cost.
“We have set a target of the community investing £400,000 in the building; the absolute minimum that must be raised will be £250,000,” said Ian Sheppard on behalf of the project team.
The New Village Hall / Community Centre project have changed their Facebook presence from a group to a page so that there is no longer a need to become a member. The page can been found using this link https://www.facebook.com/congresburyvillagehall/ or by searching for ‘Congresbury village hall page’ on Facebook.
On 14th and 15th December, Julia Thyer held wreath making parties at her house which raised £425 for The New Village Hall Project. Liz English arranged the catering, and several people brought soups and puddings as well as greenery from their gardens. After mulled wine and lunch, Julia gave a talk and demonstration, then the guests made their own beautiful wreaths. Julia Koblizek decorated hers with real citrus tree leaves and dried oranges while Emma used honesty seed heads, Mary Faunt created a swirl effect with her stunning design. You may see some of them as you walk around the village.
Liz and Julia thanked everyone for their generous contributions which made each day so enjoyable.
Liz also organised the fun recital The Greatest Story Ever Told given by Tim Lewis which raised a whopping £602, enabling Liz to give a total of £1,027 to the new hall.
Fifteen gardens are opening for your delight to raise money for the new village hall. Delicious home-made teas will be served, and who can resist that? There’s something for everyone to enjoy. Be amazed at a collection of Bonsai, amused at scarecrows, go potty about potting sheds and wowed by a secret cottage garden, smell the flowers, hear the birds, and eat the cake. £5 entry includes all gardens, children free. Generously sponsored by Debbie Fortune Estate Agents. Free programmes available at the Post Office and Day Lewis Pharmacy.
The New Village Hall Development Trust is pleased to announced that Debbie Fortune estate agents are extending their generous support to the new building project by donating 10 per cent of their fees on any house they sell or rent in Congresbury in 2017 and nominating the development trust as their charity of choice at the North Somerset Show on May 1 when trust members will be rattling collection buckets and explaining the project to visitors from all over North Somerset. The full press release can be found here http://www.debbiefortune.co.uk/latest-news/post/1486133937/raising-funds-for-congresburys-new-village-hall
Last week, two wreath-making workshops were held in the village, raising a grand total of £310. Thanks to all who attended, those who made puddings and especially to Liz English who organised the lunch and made soup. The wreaths were stunning, well done everyone.