News & Events

Isfield PreSchool Closing

We were very sad to be advised in June that Isfield Preschool is closing after 40 years continuous operation in the village. We believe that not having Preschool in the centre of the village is a big loss, but we were told by Preschool that numbers are down and it is no longer financially viable to continue. Isfield Preschool's hire of the hall amounted to 42% of our revenues in 2016 so this is a substantial drop in income which will have an impact on the village hall. On a more positive note, it does mean that from September the hall will be available for hire on weekday as well as weekend mornings, and also we expect our running costs to go down. The Management Committee are working hard to devise a marketing plan aimed at bringing new activities and events to the hall to make up the deficit, and we are running a survey (distributed in the next Isfield newsletter) in the village to ascertain levels of interest in these ideas and invite others. We are delighted to announce our first new weekday morning event - Thursday morning (9.30am to 10.25am) Pilates classes from 7th September run by Medeana Findlay. We have been keen to attract a Pilates instructor to Isfield for some time, and visitors to the Village Hall Open Day in March will have met Medeana who had a stall to introduce her classes and gauge interest. Posters have gone up in the village with contact details to sign up for these exciting classes. Another new event is Kathleen Cole Contemporary Dance for children which is run on Sunday mornings 10am to 12noon - details provided in 'Upcoming Events below.'

 

Millwood Designer Homes Donation and Our Planned Renovations

As custodians of a beautiful early 20th century building that needs constant attention, the Village Hall management committee will carry out much needed major renovation and maintenance work during the August school holiday period this year; kitchen, toilets, full internal and external decorating, curtains repaired and rehung, new kitchen windows. The hall will be closed from 13th August to 2nd September inclusive. We would not have been able to meet the cost of this work (over £17,000) without a very generous donation from Millwood Designer Homes who presented a cheque for £5,000 to Keith Taylor, Chairman of the Village Hall, and Peter Holmes, Secretary, at a special ceremony held at the Lavender Fields show house on 9th March. We thank Millwood Homes most sincerely for this donation. The balance of the cost will be met from our own fund raising events over the last few years, and we are in the process of applying to other funding sources. The Management Committee agreed to continue with the much needed renovations, most of which were already fully committed, in spite of the drop in our revenue due to Pre School closing.

 

Upcoming Events at the Village Hall

 

This Year's Frost Fair; Sunday 26th November 2017

Last year's Isfield Frost Fair was spectacular; local artists, crafts people and suppliers ran imaginative and very attractive stalls offering unique, locally produced gifts (knits, ceramics, artworks, prints, jewellery, aromatic soaps and toiletries, candles, plants, bird feeders & nest boxes, hampers, French macarons, Free trade raffia handbags & hats, handcrafted wooden toys, gardening gifts, etc.) and Christmas fare (cards, Christmas wreaths & table centres, Christmas tree ornaments, cheeses, specialist charcuterie, chutneys & jams, mustards, Christmas cakes & puddings, gift packs etc.). The fair was a great success thanks to our wonderful stall holders and volunteers donating cakes and raffle prizes, offering teas and cakes, and running the raffle. The exhibitors are keen to participate at our next fair, along with some very interesting new stands, and we are holding it on Sunday 26th November 2017.

 

 

Another Race Night; Saturday 21st October 2017

On a wet and windy autumn night last October, the Village Hall hosted a professionally run and very enjoyable Race Night fund raiser which was magnificently supported. The price per person of £12.50 included 8 races, a £1 bet on the first race, a delicious buffet supper and a glass of wine. As everyone had a really great time, we are running another Race Night on 21st October this year. If you enjoy the thrills of racing, don't miss this event and bring your family, friends and teams along.

 

 

The Last Picture Show; Our Salute to Shakespeare's 400th Anniversary

Filmspot and Isfield Village Hall could not continue to run film shows at a loss, and low attendance numbers (apart from our wonderful small group of regular supporters who we thank most sincerely for their loyalty) indicated that the village didn't need this service anyway, in spite of placing film shows at the top of a wish list of events in our 2015 survey of the village. So it was 'use it or lose it' time, and it was a pity, as anyone who attended would attest to the high quality of these shows. Clearly Filmspot had been loyal and patient for a long time without seeing numbers increase, and withdrew as there was high demand for their services at other venues. We thanked Filmspot for their generous support and the excellent quality of the film shows. The Oscar winning film 'Shakespeare in Love' (marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death) was our final film show on Saturday 28th May 2016. The film's witty script, excellent performances and wonderful costumes and sets were greatly enjoyed by our faithful audience of film goers, and a very warm welcome was extended to everyone with complimentary drinks and nibbles. We ran two Shakespearian themed prize competitions; 'Shakespearian actors and the characters they played' was won by Susie with a staggering 18.5 points out of 20, and 'Shakespearian quotes' had Jerry, Jan and Jean as joint winners.

 

 

Isfield Village Hall's Unsuccessful Submission to Isfield Parish Council for Funds under the Millwood Homes Development Section 106 Agreement

 

The Millwood Homes 'Lavender Fields' development's Section 106 Agreement contains the following details of contributions to Wealden District Council which total £167,509.52:

 

- Off site casual/informal children's space commuted sum £63,077.30

- Off Site Equipped Children's play space commuted sum £60, 528.72

- Off Site Youth and Adult Facilities commuted sum £43,903.50.

 

At the Isfield Parish Council (IPC) meeting held on 24th March 2016 we presented a succinct, serious and substantial submission under the Millwood Homes 'Lavender Fields' development's Sec. 106 for funding of £80,000 (i.e. approx. 50% of the £167,509.52 available under the Sec.106) towards the costs of building an extension to the back of the village hall (for an extra events room, a disabled toilet and storage) and to update existing facilities such as the kitchen.

 

We believe that:

i) improvements to the hall are essential for a growing community,

ii) we have strong support in the village (evidenced in the survey of the village that we ran in 2015, and, more recently, by positive, written comments we received from over 65 residents at our Open Day in March),

iii) the Sec.106 offers an unique opportunity for village improvements.

 

We were informed by IPC that our submission was not successful as the Sec.106 funds are for the provision of new or enhanced 'open space' initiatives. We sought clarification from Wealden District Council as 'open space' doesn't appear anywhere in the Sec.106 and were informed that all the funds were for 'a children's play area.' We asked Wealden for further clarification on how the 'youth and adult' category in the Sec.106 fitted a 'children's play area.' Wealden informed us that this category covered 'provision of playing pitches, MUGAs or Trim Trails and can sometimes be justified on the basis of changing rooms or other facilities in conjunction with existing outdoor play spaces to enhance the offer and usage of these sites.'

 

Isfield Village Hall belongs to the residents of Isfield, and Isfield Village Hall Trust is an independent charity that manages the village hall on their behalf. The costs of maintaining and running the hall are financed by hiring out the hall and by the management committee's own fundraising events such as Open Days, Race Nights and the Frost Fair. We receive no funds from Isfield Parish Council or any other institution, and all our management committee trustees and represented members are unpaid volunteers. Whilst our priorities are the maintenance of the village hall and its on-going financial stability, eventually we hope to obtain funding from other sources to improve our much used and valued village hall.

 

We attach the submission made to IPC on 24th March 2016 here. If you have any comments or suggestions please email us at

 

Please note that there is an additional Sec.106 contribution to East Sussex County Council of £204,380 for public works etc. on top of the contribution to Wealden District Council of £167,509.52 as listed above.