On 6th August 2013 at a meeting at the Knowle, the campaign leader for the redevelopment of Sidmouth Drill Hall presented a proposal to the leaders of East Devon District Council; Cllr Paul Diviani, CEO Mark Williams and Vice CEO Richard Cohen.
This was in response to their stopping demolition of the Drill Hall following a year long campaign (see below) and inviting us to present a proposal for alternative use.
This we did and have presented to them ahead of time.
The vision for regenerating the Drill Hall is now focused with a number of partners on the following main areas:
•Education & Heritage
•Maritime & Fisheries
•Employment, Training & Apprenticeships
The main things that we ask of EDDC are;
•Provision to Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub of a ‘peppercorn’ rent for the Sidmouth Drill Hall from 1st September 2013 for a period of no less than 3 years.
•Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub then able to contract surveyors via funding from the Keith Owen Trust to assess the cost of repairs.
•EDDC to work with Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub on the application of Community Asset Grants; Pre-Feasibility, Feasibility, and Capital, before all deadlines at 30th August 2013. That has now passed.
•EDDC to fix market value of Sidmouth Drill Hall at £440,000 as per Plymouth Land Registry value.
•Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub to then work, with or without EDDC, to attract stakeholder investors.
•EDDC to provide full allowance to Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub to renovate the building.
•Sidmouth Herald to track the renovation of the building.
•EDDC to be recognised as an essential and willing partner within a project that will support the community of Sidmouth and surrounding areas.
•Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub to pay off freehold at £440,000 to EDDC over a period of 3 to 5 years.
•EDDC to explore with Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub the extension of the cycle path from the Byes to Feniton via Sidford and Ottery St Mary. This to create access to a train link to London and elsewhere and greatly improve both the attractiveness of Sidmouth to younger generations but tourism and business within the town.
Proposed Layout and Design of and Activity Within the Renovated Building
•A café and restaurant selling locally sourced food and drinks. To serve breakfasts, lunches, teas and dinners within a relaxed, family friendly and informal environment.
•Fish to be supplied by Sidmouth Trawlers, and a well stocked bar to sell drinks produced by existing and emerging local producers.
•Education will be provided within each menu and on easy to understand table cloths on the nature of local fishing and marine biology.
•A fish school.
•An apprenticeships, training and job referral programme.
•A Fish & Chips takeaway selling sustainable fish wrapped, with chips, in sustainably sourced paper that provides educational information on the fish you are eating and the importance of rotation of fish stocks.
•A 300 capacity live music, theatre, comedy and informative discussions and talks venue.
•A room for hire by local community groups and organisations.
•An innovation hub. The provision of computers connected to wi-fi and of an innovation hub to support start up businesses from Sidmouth and the surrounding area.
•A maritime and military museum to include the housing of a Gig Longboat and a range of information on the history of fishing from Sidmouth and along the South Coast.
•A military museum that will look at Sidmouth, and the Drill Hall’s, role in both World Wars in partnership with cities and regions in Northern France, Belgium (Flanders) and Holland.
We Need You Help!
Please contact us. We need your support, your opinions (for or against) and we need input into the Community Interest Company (CIC) - Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub – that would manage the building and all related activity for the community of Sidmouth. It would be a not-for-profit business.
If you do not have email you can write to us at 119 Temple St, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 9BH.