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88% Of Consultation Respondents Agree To The Beehive Community Arts Centre Funding Plan

10th May 2021 | By Peter Chapman

Burgess Hill Town Council have announced the result of the public consultation where 88% of the respondents approved of the revised funding plans for the proposed Beehive Community Arts Centre in the town centre.

the beehive burgess hill

Town Council Leader Robert Eggleston read out the results of the consultation in a live internet broadcast on Friday lunchtime where he confirmed that the council can now go ahead and apply for a £4.8million loan from the Public Works Board.

The Town Council embarked on a town-wide consultation exercise during March and April which involved issuing several consultation leaflets and wide-ranging social media.

Residents were asked two questions:

  1. Should Burgess Hill have a modern community venue for local dance, music groups and clubs, with facilities that attract professional performers and artists?
  2. Would residents back the Town Council’s proposal for the Beehive. This included borrowing up to £4.8m to build The Beehive?
On the first question 2,616 residents agreed that Burgess Hill should have a modern community venue against 163 who disagreed with the need for it. That meant that 94% of residents who responded said YES to question 1.

On the second question 2,470 residents said YES to Burgess Hill Town Council’s proposal to borrow up to £4.8m from the PWLB against 340 who voted no. That meant that 88.0% of residents said YES to The Beehive proposal against 12.0% who said no.

Commenting on the results, Council Leader Robert Eggleston said:
“This result has exceeded our expectations and we are extraordinarily grateful to residents for giving The Beehive plan their emphatic and overwhelming endorsement. 

"With the backing of 88% of residents, the Town Council can now move, at pace, to the next stage of this process and submit its loan application to PWLB. Providing the loan is approved we can start to deliver The Beehive project this year with an anticipated opening date in late 2023.”

Since the Martlets Hall was closed in 2018, Burgess Hill has not had a public venue for the performing arts and has a shortage of community space in the town centre. When fully completed The Beehive will contain an auditorium capable of holding audiences of up to 300 with raked seating and two theatre style galleries, a dedicated dance and rehearsal studio and meeting rooms. The Beehive will include a Changing Places Toilet facility and other features to aid accessibility. It will be built along sustainable lines including solar panels on the roof and air or ground source heat pumps.

“Providing the loan application is approved, we will be in a position to build back community right in the heart of the town in what will be the most significant public building project undertaken in Burgess Hill.

“The Beehive will meet the needs of existing and future generations and we must now hope that we are given the financial tools to go on and deliver this bold and visionary project.”
said Cllr Eggleston.

Spread the word! The public have approved the funding plan for the proposed Beehive Community Arts Centre

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