thompson     Thompson Village sign

A Breckland Village

 

 

Thompson Community Hall Project

Background

 

The current village hall was built by the then Lord Walsingham in about 1890 as a reading room for the men of the village. As times changed it became a community hall for the wider village. Although the village hall is a not a charitable trust under the auspices of the Charity Commission it is always had appointed trustees and a committee to run it. The committee has, for many years, been made up of representatives of every village organisation, appointed by each of those organisations and individuals who wished to be involved have always been welcome too. The intention was to make the committee as truly representative of the village as possible.

The hall is now considered no longer to be fit for purpose: it is too small, fire regulations only allowing the hall to be used for 50 seated persons and a few standing; there are no disabled toilet facilities, and provision for these would mean the loss of the hall’s catering facilities; there is no land with the hall other than the area between the hall and Tottington Road so the current hall cannot be extended; similarly there are no parking facilities other than the small car park on the Millennium Green; no storage facilities other than a small difficult to access attic area so that tables and chairs have to be stored in the hall. The village hall remains the property of the Merton estate and should it cease to have a community use it must be returned to the donor, it cannot therefore be sold to raise funds for a new village hall.

It was therefore decided to set up an organisation independent of the village hall committee and its trustee to explore the possibilities of building a new community hall for Thompson. To this end the Parish Council had at the time the Millennium Green was set up purchased a strip of land adjacent to the School Field so that should the need arise a new community hall could, at somepoint in the future, be built.  View from proposed site

A legacy has since been left towards the establishment of a new community hall for the village; as a consequence of this a working group of villagers was set up investigate the possibility of carrying out this task.

The first hurdle to clear was to establish whether it was felt that the village needed a new community hall with improved facilities or whether it was felt that the old village hall was adequate for our purposes. It was therefore decided to carry out a village survey of as many villagers as possible.  In January/February 2012 survey forms were delivered and where possible collected by hand from every dwelling in the village. The survey came back with overwhelming support for the building of a new community hall on the Parish Council owned portion of the millennium Green.

Link: Village Survey Questionnaire

Link: Village Survey Results

Following the positive response to the survey a formal committee was set up to commence exploring the design, building and funding etc of a new community hall for Thompson. The committee held its first AGM in June 2013 when its Constitution was adopted.  Fundraising has commenced with the committee trying to hold an event every month and in addition the Parish Council sought and obtained outline planning permission, with reserve matters, for Thompson New Community Hall on the Parish Council owned portion of The Thompson Millennium Green.

Link: Planning Application Documents and Conditions