At last night’s Annual General Meeting of the Village Hall Committee it was reported that the landlords, EI Group PLC, had still not renewed the 20 year lease which expired on 20th August 2016. The lack of tenure makes it difficult to apply for grants to improve the hall as and when required. EI Group PLC lease the Hall site to Hollingbourne Parish Council who delegate responsibility for the Hall to the Village Hall Committee which in 2017 became a CICO and registered charity. The Hall is a designated Community Asset.
EI Group PLC are the successors to Whitbread – Fremlins and are the freeholders of all three Hollingbourne public houses and part of the Windmill Lane public footpath.
At the same meeting the Committee was reelected with John Holley continuing as Chairman. The financial results for 2018 showed a surplus of £821.50 which included the annual donation of £1000 from the Hollingbourne Pantomime Group. The 2019 pantomime of “Rapunzel” in the Hall finished a sell out four night run on 16th February with a standing ovation.
John Holley said that an increase in bookings, including more day time events, would help the financial situation. A website has been created to attract bookings although it will still be possible to contact the Bookings Secretary, Barbara Tremble on Tel 0779 2858326. The new website address is https://www.hollingbournevillagehall.org.uk/
Finally the Committee agreed a request from the Parish Council for a defibrillator to be installed on the outside of the Hall. A further one is planned for the outside of Hollingbourne CP School. Hollingbourne Parish Council will be holding the Annual Parish Assembly in the Hall at 7.30pm on 30th April when local organisations including the Hall Committee will be invited to talk about their activities over the past year. It is hoped to also invite a representative from Leeds Castle to talk about their 900 year celebrations.
Pictured below is the Village Hall in Windmill Lane.