Who are we?
Hamdon Community Arts Project (HCAP) is a trust made up of the current URC building user groups and other interested individuals. We are in discussion with URC Synod, the current owners of the building, to purchase the property as a community asset.
Why is this building so important?
The URC building is a beautiful Grade II* listed building in the conservation area of Stoke sub Hamdon next door to the historically important National Trust Priory. It is woven into the fabric of the community, not only as a church, but also as the home of and accommodation for the following organisations:
• The Hamdon Pre-School Play Group uses the undercroft of the building. It has provided pre-school education for the children of this community for 40 years and is a very important part of this village.
• The Stoke sub Hamdon Band uses the building for rehearsal and storage. The Band is a major contributor to village events.
• The Charity Shop uses the building for storage of donated goods. The Charity Shop raises over £20,000 per year for community projects.
Relocation of the current users has been assessed and nowhere in the village can be found that offers the same level of space and access as is currently enjoyed.
As such, there is strong support from within the community for the preservation of this building as a community asset. Also, its continued use by the community was the stated wish of its last Elders.
What do we plan for the building?
We propose to purchase the building from Synod and develop it into a community arts centre for music, performing arts, local arts and crafts exhibitions and theatre and music workshops. Most importantly, we will retain its use by the current user groups - The Hamdon Pre-School Play Group, Stoke sub Hamdon Band, The Charity Shop and Stoke Performing Arts Group.
How will we do this?
We need to raise £200,000 to purchase and repair the building and convert it into a community arts centre and for that we will need your help.
What happens if we fail?
The building will be sold by Synod on the open market to the highest bidder. In this event, Hamdon Pre-School Play Group, Stoke sub Hamdon Band and the Charity Shop will be required to move out when the decision is made to put the property on the market.