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Town Hall Update

Lease signed at last


Wiveliscombe Town Hall

The Wiveliscombe Town Hall Trust (WTHT), a registered charity, has finally completed the process of signing a lease with the Co-op to take on and manage the Town Hall to make use of this as an asset for the town in the future. The lease requires funding to be obtained to allow the repair and refurbishment of the fabric and decorations of the building.

The journey to this stage has been somewhat tortuous and time consuming but the Co-op has been generally supportive. The local representatives have also given advice as how to proceed to a satisfactory conclusion.

Next steps for the Trust will be to identify exactly what needs to be done, to raise the necessary funds and to implement the plans. Wiveliscombe Area Partnership will be working with WTHT and providing initial funds for the project.

Trust Vice Chairman Dave Lusk said, “The Trustees are delighted to have signed the lease after so many years of discussion.  Now the work begins! ”.

Note: From the North Devon Journal, 2 June 1864

WIVELISCOMBE. The Band. —Through the exertions of Mr. Peagam, solicitor, subscriptions have been collected and a supply of modern instruments  procured for a town band. It is intended that a uniform hat with a scarlet band shall be worn by each member of the band when on duty. The band is under the direction of Mr. S. Richards and diligently attending to practice. When proficient they will discourse sweet sounds from the balcony of the Town Hall, for the gratification of the inhabitants.

Wiveliscombe Town Hall Update - January 2018

The Wiveliscombe Town Hall Trust (WTHT), a registered charity, is just a mere £3k away from hitting their £25k target, which will finally take the hall to the much anticipated planning stage – i.e. the building will be turned back into a venue at the heart of the community. This means the architectural plans can be drawn up and surveys in place for the project to go through planning, as well as the bid writing and business planning work which would be needed to secure the capital funding for the total refurbishment of the Town Hall, which is estimated to be just over £350K.

We have been able to restore one of the hall’s ‘eyes’! One of the window’s to the right hand side of the hall has been fully restored and lit up the beautiful interior for the first time in over 70 years. Over the festive season we held carols and drank mulled wine in the old hall, as a sneak peak of what is to come.

Town Hall Chair, Emma Bettridge, says ‘It feels like we are just about to tip over the top of the rollercoaster! We are so close to achieving that total, which will properly set in motion the plans to return the hall back to Wivey. Support for all our efforts in 2017 has been overwhelming, from dance reviews, to mufti days at the schools, to a huge Bristol Old Vic theatre fundraiser and carol singing over Christmas. It’s clear that we as a community want this space to be used again, so continued support to get there is vital.’

Wiveliscombe Town Hall, known during the 19th century as The Assembly Rooms, was home to the Magistrates Court and was the focus for social and public life with regular cinema shows until well into the 1950’s. It has been owned by the Co-op since just after the First World War but was closed to public use in 1958 since when it has been empty.


For more information, please follow the link to the Town Hall website: