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PROGRESS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CULTURAL QUARTER

Burgess Hill’s Cultural Quarter development has now reached an important stage with the Council looking to appoint a professional Project Manager to manager a multidisciplinary team of architect, business and end user planner and quantity surveyor to carry out a feasibility study and to develop and appraise site and design options.  The associated documents are attached below (deadline 12pm 30th June 2017):
 

Cultural Provision Consultant Report

Tender

Example Bid Assessment

The Cultural Quarter is a key part of the Burgess Hill Neighbourhood Plan. In the future it is planned to play a pivotal role in hosting our community’s activities and events. Following the approval of the Neighbourhood Plan and the sad news that the redevelopment of the town centre will necessitate the loss of the Martlets Hall, Burgess Hill Town Council launched an initiative to establish the future needs of the community and to begin implementing provision for the Cultural Quarter.
 
To begin this initiative, the Council invited a cross section of the community to participate in the Cultural Quarter Working Group. This group was made up of a Steering committee and two working parties. One working party under the leadership of Cllr Colin Holden has concentrated on establishing the needs of the community for meeting spaces while the other, led by Cllr Richard Cherry concentrated on establishing the needs for performance space.
 
Numerous fact finding visits, to various halls and theatres, were undertaken by town council officials and members of the working parties to establish what makes these establishments successful. They included visits to The Harlequin theatre in Redhill and the Farnham Maltings; as well as the Capitol in Horsham, Chequer Mead in East Grinstead, the Millennium Hall in Scaynes Hill, The Ark in Turners Hill, Bramble Hall and Victory Hall in Balcombe and our own Kings Church.
 
In addition, meetings have been held with numerous community groups in Burgess Hill to establish their activities and what they may need in the way of meeting or performance spaces in the future. This extensive work has taken some time and the Group now has a better understanding of needs and aspirations in the community as well as what community space might be and cost, particularly to sustain.
 
The Steering Committee came to the conclusion that while there is a desire for a flexible community space in the centre of town, it was unable to establish exactly what size this space might be, what it might incorporate and what it might cost both to build and sustain given the town’s unique circumstances. The Committee approached the Theatres Trust for advice and following an extremely productive meeting the decision was taken to invite suitable consultants to tender with the following brief:
To discover if there is an appropriate viable model/s for a cultural and community facility which is capable of supporting performing arts in the UK that: -
Meet the community’s aspirations of a town, the projected size of Burgess Hill in 2031[1].
Has/have been constructed via accessible funding (e.g. trusts, charities, public donations and local authority contributions)
is/are financially sustainable via ticket revenues, regular charitable subsidies, commercial sponsorship, long term and regular tenancies, and any other means that are not directly dependent on the public purse.
The Steering Committee appointed David Clarke of DCA Consulting to carry out the study and his report is linked above.
 
[1] Approximately 32,000 in 2011, estimated to be 45,000 in 2031