MSDC Cabinet approves £100,000 grant for multi-use community building in Ansty

PR2256/EC/MF - 20/11/2019

Mid Sussex District Council’s Cabinet has agreed to grant the Ansty Village Centre Trust £100,000 towards a new village hall, sports pavilion and social club for the village.

The Council’s Cabinet met on Monday 18 November to approve the £100,000 funding and to agree a new 150-year lease for the new building and car park. The decision is subject to approval by Full Council on 18 December 2019. 

The existing Ansty Village Hall is a dilapidated wooden hut that was gifted to the village following the end of the First World War. When it was shipped over from France the temporary building was originally expected to have a lifespan of 20 years. Unsurprisingly, after more than 100 years of use, it is falling apart and is no longer fit for purpose.

Despite being in such poor condition, the existing village hall is regularly used for sports like darts, snooker, football, stoolball and cricket. The recreation ground currently attracts around 15,000 visits per year, which is a strong foundation for future growth and with improved facilities it is predicted that the number of users will double within three years.

The new Ansty Village Centre will transform the facilities on offer to villagers and the wider Mid Sussex community. There will be a sizable main hall, professional catering standard kitchen facilities, increased storage, double the amount of sports changing facilities and a significantly enlarged function room with dedicated bar area. The building will also have disabled access throughout, including lift access to the first floor.

The total cost of the project is over £1,400,000 and community groups have worked together alongside local councils to raise money for the project. Funding already secured includes £150,000 from the England and Wales Cricket Board, £100,000 from Ansty Parish Council and over £219,000 from local community groups. Mid Sussex District Council has also released £324,443 of Section 106 developer contributions and made an earlier grant of £17,440 to the Ansty Village Hall Trust toward a replacement building.

Liz Bennet, Parish Clerk for Ansty and Staplefield Parish Council said:

“This new community building is going to make such a huge difference to our village and will provide some wonderful facilities, not just for Ansty residents but for people in surrounding areas as well.

“When the Ansty Cross pub closed a few years ago it left a large social hole in the village but this new community building gives us the opportunity to create a new social hub that will put the heart back into Ansty.

“The Ansty Village Centre Trust is leading the project but it has been a real collaborative effort between many local groups. Ansty and Staplefield Parish Council, Mid Sussex District Council, Ansty Cricket Club, Ansty Sports and Social Club, the Ansty Village Hall Trust and local businesses have all played a huge part in helping to fund this new community building. It has been wonderful to see the whole community working together to make this dream into a reality.”

Peter Stuart, Mid Sussex District Council Head of Corporate Resources said:

“Mid Sussex District Council has been a long-term supporter of this project and this final £100,000 grant, once it is signed off by Full Council, will mean building work can start on site as early as January 2020. Sports and social facilities like this new village centre are such an important part of the local community and I look forward to seeing the finished building when it opens later next year.”