The Causeway Hall gives people a place to meet, learn and be entertained. The hall was built with the help of a Charity Bank loan.
There are many benefits to tight-knit communities, but it can be difficult to foster that sense of togetherness in areas with little or no opportunities for socialising other than pubs.
Village halls and social centres can act as hubs for local communities – giving people a place to meet, socialise and enjoy spending time together. These halls often host events and activities that enable people to learn new skills, follow their interests, and meet like-minded people. The Causeway Hall in Chiddingstone Causeway is one such hall, but until recently had become so run down that people didn’t enjoy spending time there.
Chiddingstone Causeway’s previous hall was a tin tabernacle – a prefabricated building made from corrugated iron. It was old, damp and had reached the point where it needed constant repairs. Renovation wasn’t going to work – the building needed to be completely replaced. With the help of a £150,000 Charity Bank loan, Chiddingstone Causeway was able to build a new hall, with a spacious main event space, three meeting rooms and a kitchen.
The new hall has proven very popular with both the local and wider community. Some 4,000 people now use it each year. The Causeway Hall hosts regular activities and workshops, such as drama, dance and baby classes, along with concerts, shows and a jazz club. It’s regained its role as the heart of Chiddingstone Causeway, helping to bring the community together and tackle loneliness.
“We’d raised around £500,000 through community events, fundraising, grants and so on, but building costs were rising. It had got to the point where the costs were increasing faster than we could raise money. Taking out a loan allowed us to get the job done, without tearing our hair out!”Dennis Ward, Trustee & Chair of the Causeway Hall Redevelopment Committee