Work on our New Village Hall has finally coming to an end and the hall has  been opened FROM 1ST JUNE 2015 .

See the features at the end of this article on our wonderful 'OPENING CEREMONY' on 3RD JULY 2015, at the end of this page.
lADY OLIVIER, DAME JOAN PLOWRIGHT kindly cam along to officially open the new hall on what was the hottest day of the year.

A few reminders here of the building history...........................

The amazing groundwork crews worked through all weathers, including torrential rain and snow, to put in the specialist piled footings.

Piling was not straightforward due to poor soil conditions and water-logging (no surprise there!). However, Nick Clear, the contractor, resolved all issues & the Building Inspector together with Steve Saunter, the Structural Engineer, were more than satisfied with the outcome. A huge thankyou must be given to our Chairman Chris Jesse & co. who removed 200 tons of spoil, saving us a lot of expense.   We also thank Cordek for their whole-hearted support of the project; the foundations include the very best Cordek materials, as you may have seen when giant ‘honeycomb’ slabs arrived in the village!

We now watch with fascination the next stages of the project – the construction of the mainframe itself has gone very you can see if you travel along the B2135.  It is an impressive building with specially constructed beams coming by boat all the way from Denmark.  The roof has now gone on and we eagerly await the flint outer walls and slate roof tiles. The project is on schedule and looking wonderful! 

A little of the history for those who are new to village (or have forgotten how the hall came into being)……

The first village hall in Ashurst was built in the early part of the last century by a local landowner, Mr Campion of Eatons, with the help of three other farmers. It was built as a facility for the use of the farm labourers and workers of Ashurst (supposedly to keep them out of the pub!) and was donated to the parish.  

As we know - Ashurst is a small but thriving rural community. Public transport to the village is almost non existent. We have a diverse population that includes young families and older members of the community with a variety of needs.  A central hub for our community is acutely needed and the old hall now seems like a distant memory already.  There is a great need for social inclusion in Ashurst as with many rural areas, often the central meeting hall of a village can provide a lifeline for many who live in the area.

The 1909 hall remained a fully functioning village amenity until 2004 when plans to add a small extension to the front of the hall had to be abandoned due to the rapidly deteriorating condition of the main structure.

Following two whole village consultations it was agreed by Ashurst Parishioners and Hall Trustees that there should be a replacement building on the same site and,  as we know, fundraising commenced.

Planning permission was obtained in October 2011 and after a year of consultation and fundraising, along with expert advise from Doug Edwards, our Chartered Surveyor, who continues to oversee the project for us, work finally began on the footings in early December to lay the foundations of the new hall.

The new Ashurst Village Hall will comprise:

v     A large central hall capable of seating 100 people.

v     A modern well equipped kitchen

 v     A purpose built meeting/committee room.

 v     Toilets for male and female users plus baby changing facilities.

 v     Full access for the disabled

 v     A purpose built stage area.

 v     A patio/seating/play area.

 v     A suitable car parking area.

 v     Extensive storage space.

 v     A reception area/foyer.

 v     An integral equipment store for maintenance equipment.

 The design of the new building lends itself to many possibilities for type and size of functions and activities both for public and private events.

 A large number of new users have expressed interest in hiring the hall (we already have regular bookings!) and the Trustees envisage it will become financially sustainable on completion through lettings. The eco friendly nature of the building will ensure that outgoings will be considerably less than those of the old hall and has been a priority focus throughout the design stages.

The new Ashurst Village Hall will hopefully act as a catalyst to bring together a range of services to the benefit of young and old alike.   Pledged support and interest from outreach health clinics, mother & baby Groups, WI, clubs and events for the older people, youth groups, and partnerships with local groups including the church will all contribute to its place as a central meeting point/social and information centre.  With its central location to other rural villages, the establishment of a Parish Council office (including broadband connectivity) will also act as a hub to connect many other rural communities and will restore Ashurst’s Polling Station.

Local events, such as Ashurst Fair and Fun Dog Show, the Annual Flower Show, Ashurst’s famous pantomime, the Christmas Fair and our Harvest Supper – to name but a few – together with local pledges, have raised an astonishing amount so far. In addition, Viridor Credits has generously granted funding of £50,000, as have RPDE Leaders, which, together with major donations from the Garfield Weston Foundation, Cordek Ltd, Waitrose, Gatwick Diamond and some very kind individuals, has enabled the village to proceed with the project. Ashurst is hugely grateful to all our funders who have contributed to making the new hall possible.

THERE IS STILL A LONG WAY TO GO WITH FUNDRAISING.  Additional major grant applications have been submitted and we eagerly await their outcome.  The village is also actively seeking more help, both financial and in kind, anyone interested in supporting the project should get in touch with Chairman Mr Chris Jesse 01903 815089 or Secretary Mrs Mandy Hedley 01403 711036 email:

Please do lookout for our PLEDGE FORMS and FUTURE FUNDRAISING EVENTS.  

Look out too for dates and information about our other fundraising activities including the Annual Ashurst Fair & Fun Dog Show, Quiz Nights, Harvest Supper, musical evenings & film nights coming soon.

More information on venues/dates etc soon. 

 Village Hall contacts:

 Chairman - Chris Jesse  01903 815089.

 Secretary - Mandy Hedley 01403 711036

 Treasurer - Steve Bishop 01403 588594

Ashurst Village Hall Opened by Lady Olivier, Dame Joan Plowright

OPENED BY LADY OLIVIER, DAME JOAN PLOWRIGHT on 3rd July 2015, with Ashurst Village Hall Building Committee at the Opening Ceremony.

Vicky Crush, Derek Crush, Chris Jesse - Chairman, George Stevens, Di Stevens - Treasurer, Lady Olivier -Dame Joan Plowright,, Mandy Hedley - Secretary, Gay Davenport & Liz Hamilton





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