Future of Drill Hall facility to be agreed by Lifespring Church and Horsham District Council

Horsham’s Drill Hall

Horsham’s Drill Hall proposal to develop it to benefit the community

Lifespring Church has approached Horsham District Council with a proposal to re-invigorate Horsham’s Drill Hall. The church submitted a proposal to acquire the building and develop it as a community hub and conference centre, as well as its administrative base and a place of worship.

Their aim is to actively support a broad range of community functions so that the Drill Hall is transformed into becoming a central community hub. Services they are hoping to provide directly or facilitate through partners include use for a family hub and registered contact centre, toddler groups, after school and holiday clubs, youth services and a community café to help ease social isolation.

As well as running courses and providing advice on topics such as life skills, debt advice and budgeting, the church is also keen to see the space used for musical practice and performance, as an art gallery and for conferences, meetings and events. This will be a facility for the whole of Horsham District.

As a first step towards engaging with the local community, Lifespring will be holding a series of round table feedback sessions with current Drill Hall users to establish their needs and wants for the future of the Hall. Lifespring will be contacting users directly, however, regular users can also register their interest to take part in these feedback sessions by contacting: drillhall@wearelifespring.church

Lifespring intends to upgrade the building in a sustainable manner sensitive to its character and history. Alterations are likely to include improved ventilation, sustainable heat pumps, solar PV panels and energy efficient lighting as well as modernised IT capability, fire and safety upgrades and improved accessibility. For more information on their proposal go to: www.wearelifespring.church/drillhall.

Commenting on their proposal, Lifespring Church spokesperson Jos Wintermeyer said: “We have been a part of the Horsham community for many years. We love our town and we want to play an active role, working with others, to help every member of this wonderful community to thrive.

“We are excited about the opportunity to develop and update the Drill Hall into a much-needed community hub and a place where local art and music can be enjoyed and celebrated, whilst honouring the building’s history.”

Horsham District Council Leader Cllr Martin Boffey added: “The Drill Hall is a historic building that can offer much more to our community if it is adapted to accommodate events across a range of areas. We know how important the Drill Hall is to the community of Horsham and the proposal from Lifespring Church would ensure the ongoing provision of community facilities in the heart of Horsham Town Centre.

“I am pleased that we are now in a position to give full consideration to the Lifespring Church business proposal regarding the ongoing ownership and use of the Drill Hall, and particularly pleased that they wish it to be kept as a key facility, for use by the whole Horsham community, not only the church community.

“The proposal will retain the Drill Hall as the community asset for which it was originally intended, whilst being refurbished to deliver sustainable standards which will benefit our environment.

“Of course, the Drill Hall also has an important military history and continues to have strong links with military groups today. It is important that these links between the building and the communities that have a history there continue. The Armed Forces Covenant is an important commitment for the Council and we will be conscious of that when considering the future of the Drill Hall.

“It is really important that we consider community feedback as part of our decision making and I would encourage people to participate in the consultation being led by Lifespring, telling us what they think at drillhall.feedback@horsham.gov.uk or emailing Lifespring at drillhall@wearelifespring.church.”

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