Call for volunteers to help with Burgess Hill community arts centre plans

An artist's impression of the new Beehive community arts centre in Burgess Hill. Picture: Burgess Hill Town Council
An artist's impression of the new Beehive community arts centre in Burgess Hill. Picture: Burgess Hill Town Council

Burgess Hill Town Council is on the hunt for volunteers to join its Cultural Quarter Steering Group to assist with delivering the new Beehive community centre in the town.

Plans for the new Beehive centre, which is to replace Martlets Hall, are to be submitted in the near future, the council has said. The plans include a 250-seater theatre.

Skills the group seek include technical skills, such as audio and lighting and theatre management knowledge.

Recruitment and management of a large volunteer contingent is also desired, the council said.

And knowledge of disabilities and challenges facing various groups in our society, to ensure that the building when built will accommodate those facing physical and mental challenges, and financial and marketing skills.

A council spokesman said: “If you would like to be involved in the future of this exciting and ambitious project, please email your CV and a covering letter to steve@burgesshill.gov.uk or contact Steve for a chat on 01444 247726 by July 3.

“Ahead of the building phase lie many challenges including fundraising and the creation of a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation).

“Steering Group members reflect the diversity of our community and we encourage applications from all backgrounds.”

The name of the new centre went to a public vote earlier this year. Town council leader Robert Eggleston announced the result on May 13.

Two motivations were given for the name. The first from Fred Avery, a local historian, was that this was the name given to the tall conical shaped kilns which were on all of Burgess Hill’s brickmaking sites.

The second from a tutor group at Downlands Community School was the historical connection with the early filmmaker John Charles Bee-Mason who lived in Burgess Hill and produced two famous short films about bees, which are in the British Film Institute. He even changed his name to incorporate the word ‘bee’ in it.

Local schools and the public were also invited to participate in the naming of the new centre.

Other names which were shortlisted from a list of 33 entries were Brickworks, Wyvern, Hambrook and The Burgess Hill Centre. Downlands Community School will be rewarded with a cheque of £200 and an opportunity to use the centre free of charge for an event in the future.

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