Whitford is a thriving village in East Devon, which makes full use of its Village Hall, built some 80 years ago. The residents have worked hard to maintain the upkeep of the building and car park.
Over the past 25 years Whitford has seen the closure of the village pub, the village shop, post office, garage, etc leaving the Hall as the hub of village life, an essential meeting place for all ages.
With increased use of the Hall over the last 5 years, the present kitchen is inadequate to cope with the demands made upon it by a wide range of users. Since 2003 the number of user groups has increased from about 14 to the around 24 at present with the number of annual bookings increased from about 200 to over 400. Prospective hirers have criticised the kitchen, pointing out its shortcomings and this project addresses these concerns.
The aim is to update the kitchen to bring it in line with the standard of equipment required. The facilities are currently used to some extent on a daily basis by over 20 organisations, and it has become clear that changes are needed to efficiently meet the needs of users raging from simple committee meetings to sporting events to major social events to bi-annual weekend festivals.
The improved kitchen facilities will enable the Village Hall to offer a greater range of functions with easier catering. It is anticipated that this will increase the number of users and also allow the Village Hall Committee to put on a more diverse events including regular breakfasts, lunches etc.
This will increase both the income from hiring and the profit from Village Hall committee organised functions, making the Hall more viable for the future. Income for maintaining the hall would also be increased.
The Village Hall has a full bar licence which has been an extra asset and has encouraged joint activities with another local Village Hall (with no licence) which may be further improved by the proposed kitchen upgrade.
Since 2003 The number of user groups has increased from about 14 to the around 24 at present with the number of annual bookings increased from about 200 to over 400.
While there are other village halls in surrounding districts Whitford itself has no other facilities (no pub, church hall or shops) other than the Village Hall. In fact, it is the only general meeting place in the village- other village halls in the area being inaccessible by public transport or served by public transport very infrequently and by daytime only.
Organisation: Whitford Village Hall Management Committee
Location: Whitford, near Shute, Devon