Wiveliscombe Town Hall was built in 1841 for Alexander Baring, First Lord Ashburton, landlord of the Wiveliscombe and Fitzhead Estate, one time MP for Taunton and founder of the London banking house, Baring Brothers & Co. The Wiveliscombe Town Hall Trust aims to restore the Hall and re-instate it as an arts venue for the people of Wiveliscombe and the 10 Parishes. The Trust was formed in 2006 to preserve the building and bring the upper floor back into active use.
A report into the future use of the building was completed by architects in early 2008 with a recommendation that the building should be used as an arts, media, cultural and heritage venue. Activities might include:
- Live Music
- Arts and crafts exhibitions & fairs
- Dances and dance performance
- Private functions
- Heritage education
We are extremely keen to bring as much art and culture into our region because we believe there is a real thirst for such events. As part of the building’s restoration, the report recommends that the portico should be reinstated and a new access provided from The Square. A new extension built to the rear has recently been completed by the Co-op and the Trust are investigating using this opportunity to provide the Hall with a roof terrace bar. All works will be completed to a high environmental specification.
Since the report was completed the Trust has successfully managed to acquire a long term lease from the Co-op. The cost of restoration and conversion of the listed building are estimated upwards of £250,000, presenting a significant fundraising challenge for the Trust. An additional challenge will be to ensure that the eventual uses of the Hall are able to cover the building’s running costs. The Trustees are extremely passionate and optimistic that this challenge can be met, not least with the support of the local community. The Town Hall will, once again, welcome the public through its doors and take its rightful place at the heart of the Wiveliscombe and 10 Parishes cultural and community life. The Trustees are John Bone, Dave Lusk, Sarah Yelland, Emma Bettridge, Claire Fear and Bev Shaw. All the Trustees live or work in the Ten Parishes and bring a wide range of relevant expertise and experience to the Trust.
You can help by:
We need plenty of local support with our fundraising programme.
- Visiting our website http://www.wiveliscombetownhall.org.uk/ and becoming a Friend of the Wiveliscombe Town Hall Trust.
- Telling everyone you can about this great project and like our facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/groups/152241170794/
- Making a Donation. Whether you’re a company, trust or individual looking to make a small personal contribution, your support will help open up this fantastic space to many more people. Please use the MyDonate on our website [as above], it is greatly appreciated.