Final plan for new Burgess Hill community arts venue due to presented

An artist impression of the community arts venue. Picture: Burgess Hill Town Council
An artist impression of the community arts venue. Picture: Burgess Hill Town Council

A final plan for a new community arts venue in Burgess Hill is expected to be presented on Thursday, Burgess Hill Town Council has said.

The venue, which is to replace Martlets Hall, is proposed to be built on the footprint of the Royal British Legion Building in Cyprus Road.

The project manager and architect presented plans for the venue to a meeting of the design committee in November which showed that the proposals made were considerably over budget. As a result the steering committee agreed that the architects should review the plans which they have now done.

A spokesman for the town council said: “The architect has since submitted revised plans to the quantity surveyor who has costed the building in excess of the maximum affordable budget of £5.5million.

“In order to reduce the building in size but retain the accommodation which would make the centre viable, the floor space has been reduced.

“The concept of a café has been scrapped but a bar area has been retained. This has resulted in a smaller kitchen space being needed and losing the dumbwaiter.

“It will not be necessary to keep the building open all hours but only when booked which will reduce running costs. Further options are being considered which should result in a viable project.

“The team is still confident that a preplanning application can be submitted in February and that the public will be able to comment on the centre proposals before a formal planning application is submitted late February/March.

“Because the plans were revised, the fundraiser has been delayed with the drawing up of a feasibility study determining the likelihood of raising in excess of £2million and the time needed to raise such an amount. This is expected by mid-March.

“We are having a naming group meeting tomorrow and more importantly we are meeting with the architect on Thursday when we hope that a final set of plans will be presented.”

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