Drill Hall at 31st January 2018
A quick update.
In 2011, EDDC announced that they were going to demolish the Drill Hall at Port Royal at the far eastern end of Sidmouth Esplanade and leave the space open to be used primarily as a boat park. There was no other proposal in place, and had their application for demolition been granted then the BagwelIs would have lost their fish shop, Sidmouth Trawlers, to the sea and storms over the winters that followed. It is and always has been protected by the Drill Hall. I staretd a campaign towards the end of 2011 and in April 2012 the Localism Act was passed that gave communities the right to create a bid over 3 years to purchase an asset of community value. It also provided the right for a community to bid to have an asset, or building, transferred free of charge to the community. In 2012 I started a campaign to save the Drill Hall and stop demolition and soon after due to a combination of the Localism Act, massive popular reaction against the demolition plans, and objections from the Conservation Officer and Hugo Swire MP the building was saved.
We are now in a position where, as you will no doubt now know
where both Sidmouth Town Council and East Devon Council have withdrawn their initial proposal for a large residential development of 30 apartments at Port Royal, as is in the Local Plan, and announced that they will be putting the Drill Hall on the market to be, as we have always said it should be, a cafe, bar and/or restaurant. They will also announce the opportunity for a community bid. We are unsure exactly what they intend but that should mean that the community has a period of time to compile a community group or trust that supports a board that works, with the trust and a range of funding sources including private and public, to raise the required funds to initially restore then open and make use of the building for everyone in the community.
There will be a Town Council meeting on Monday 5th February at Sidmouth Methodist Church Hall
And an EDDC Cabinet meeting in the main Council Chamber at Knowle on Wednesday 7th February.
The Drill Hall situation will be discussed.
We strongly advise you, and ask you, to attend both of these meetings.
Drill Hall History
In the meantime, please have a look at Mary Walden-Till’s excellent website that shows the history and heritage of the Drill Hall, Port Royal and around Eastern Town.
All drawings (c) Alex Vick 2018
Port Royal Scoping Study – Public Consultation 26th and 27th June 2017 at Kennaway House, Sidmouth
Have Your Say!
On 14th June 2017 East Devon District Council announced dates for a public consultation on proposals by the contracted consultants Jillings Heynes Planning Ltd.
The public consultation will be held at Kennaway House, Sidmouth www.kennawayhouse.org.uk on 26th and 27th June 2017.
If you would like to see the Drill Hall restored and returned to the people of Sidmouth as part, or not, of an overall redevelopment of Port Royal then it is very important that you complete a questionnaire and get involved in the process.
Find out more at the East Devon website
and at the Sidmouth Town Council Port Royal page
Aylsham Town Council Buys Aylsham Drill Hall to Secure Its Future,,!
Aylsham Town Council has bought the town’s Drill Hall from Norfolk County Council and secured its future for the community.
Read all about it here !
Welcome to the website of Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub CIC
Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub Community Interest Company (CIC) grew out of the campaign to save the Drill Hall at the eastern end of Sidmouth seafront.
Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub CIC supports a responsible, considered and sustainable development of Port Royal and the Eastern Town of Sidmouth. We believe that such development and regeneration comes from maximising existing assets in order to establish an appropriate and inclusive environment that will lead to long-term community led redevelopment. To that end, we believe that regeneration of the area is best served via restoring and opening the Drill Hall at Port Royal as a community meeting, eating, arts, and heritage space.
You can support the campaign and be kept updated with developments by becoming a Friend at Friends of Sidmouth Drill Hall
Visit the ever growing Drill Hall research website about the history of the Drill Hall.
Download the iBooks version here of the new TourFish: Responsible Tourism Guide for Tourism & Sustainability in Small-Scale Fisheries and Agri-Food now!
Or in pdf format here RT Guide Full Version pdf
Please visit the new Drill Hall research website created by local historian Mary Walden-Till that is looking at the history of the building. Mary is working with a local architect on designs for the building and immediate area. These plans will be published here and on Mary’s website soon.
Economic Evidence Report
Sidmouth Drill Hall 1905 (10 years after it was built)
The Drill Hall was scheduled for demolition in 2012. We were able to get a stay of demolition in order to protect the Sidmouth Trawlers business that is located directly behind the building which provides them with essential protection from the sea, and to raise awareness of the history of the area and the potential of the building and Port Royal area. Since 2012 we have run a series of projects to raise awareness of the potential of the building and the Port Royal area as a whole. These have included the Fish Wall project, the Sidmouth Sea Fest annual event, and bringing the EU funded TourFish project to Sidmouth with partners from Holland, Hastings, France, Belgium and the University of Greenwich.
Download the TourFish project report Executive Summary here TourFish-Responsible-Tourism-Guide-Executive-Summary_ENG
Download the Drill Hall Evidence Base Report from the TourFish project here SDH report FINAL 13 May 2015
We will be publishing the report in full as part of Sidmouth Climate Week at Kennaway House in Sidmouth on Wednesday 9th March 2016 from 6.30pm.
Regeneration of Port Royal and Eastern Town
We are working with an architect towards developing a wider vision for Port Royal and Eastern Town beyond redevelopment of Sidmouth Drill Hall. This includes consideration of the future of the toilet block to the east side of the Drill Hall and considered use of the whole of the turning circle area. This could include; a cycle hire space, where the toilet block currently is, to encourage cycling from Port Royal around Sidmouth and up the Byes to Sidford; pedestrianising the area from Ham Lane across the turning circle to create a wider area for tables outside of the Drill Hall linked to the Sailing Club and cycle hire; a community garden area at the back of the Drill Hall by the Fishermen’s Yard to include growing food for the Drill Hall kitchen (herbs, salad); and a consideration of the whole of the Port Royal with the Sailing Club, Gig Club and Lifeboat.
Sidmouth ‘Woolleys’ Knitting Patterns
The first knitting patterns for our new Sidmouth ‘Woolleys’ will be available online soon. We are looking at the patterns again since we launched the project at Sea Fest last May as we have had a couple of issues coming back from our knitting group.
We completed and sold our first ‘Sidmouth Woolleys’ to very satisfied customers in time for Christmas.
Our first ‘Woolleys’ have been created from original jumpers worn by local fishermen George Woolley, Jack Collier (both from Sidmouth) and Tom Westlake (from Beer).
Please contact us for more information email@example.com
Read About the New Unit in Sidmouth Diary
PLEASE NOTE THE UNIT IS NOW CLOSED
If you live in or around Sidmouth you may have seen our new unit at Libra Court featured in the new issue of Sidmouth Diary.
You can download the feature here Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub Sidmouth Diary
Come and visit us! The unit is currently closed but we are trying to keep it open every Saturday. Please contact us if you would like to visit the shop or meet us there to discuss any aspects of the Drill Hall project. We need volunteers to keep the shop open. If you or anyone you know can dedicate a few hours to sit in the shop then please get in touch!
Get in touch if you would like to help out or to sell things through the shop. We are always looking out for volunteers to help staff the shop.
Crowdfunder Target Reached!
We are delighted to announce that we have now reached our fundraising target to open a new unit as a drop in and information centre, shop, and point of support for small and start up businesses linked to the Drill Hall CIC at Libra Court in Sidmouth.
A massive thank you to all those that donated!
The fundraiser will remain open until 12th June so please do keep pledging and donating. Thank you.
The shop is now open four days a week, so please come and visit!
Thank you to all those that joined us on Tues 2nd June 2015 at The Loft, Old Fore St, Sidmouth for the first meeting of the Friends of Sidmouth Drill Hall.
You can still download the meeting agenda here Friends of Drill Hall meeting invitation
New Drill Hall Hub Unit at Libra Court
Please Continue to Support Our New Fundraising Campaign
We have launched a fundraising campaign to help meet our costs to open a drop in and information centre in Sidmouth.
Click this link to be redirected now – Support Us
An opportunity has recently arisen for us to take on a unit at Libra Court in Sidmouth for an initial four month period. The unit will be a home for Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub both as a place where we can meet people and discuss our vision for the future of the Drill Hall, and to work as a base for small and start up businesses in Sidmouth. We will sell products from small local businesses that are part of the Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub CIC, plus our new Sidmouth fishermen’s jerseys, the jerseys from our colleagues in Arnemuiden, Holland, Sidmouth Sea Fest t-shirts and more.
We have had a fantastic response to our ‘Friends Of’ campaign with many new people to add to our network. By taking on the unit we will have a drop in centre in Sidmouth where we can move the campaign on to the next stage. We are incredibly excited about this development in our campaign.
But we need your help!
We are working to raise £1,200 by 12th June 2015.
Please take part in our Crowdfunder fundraiser and bid for one of a limited number of pledges.
More details can be found by clicking this link – Support Us
‘The Territorial Drill Hall, at the Salcombe end of the Esplanade, erected in 1895 on a site given by the late J. George G. Radford, is a neat edifice of red brick, and has on the ground floor a drill hall, 60 by 32 feet, with a clock over the entrance; the building also includes an ante-room, and an armoury.’ (Kelly, 1914)
The land was donated to the town by Mr George G Radford and Mr and Mrs R Hatton-Wood of ‘Belmont’ advanced money for the building work, £1,650. The building was opened on Tuesday 15th October 1895.
In October 1903, Mr and Mrs Hatton-Wood presented the deeds to the Rifle Volunteer Company, which had been formed in 1883, wiping out the remaining construction bill of £600.
Throughout the 1900’s the Drill Hall was used as a cinema, a site for sports including badminton and ice skating, a dance hall, a live music venue, and the on site office of the Sidmouth Folk Festival.
The Drill Hall was closed in 1994 and has been boarded up since.
At a meeting of East Devon District Council’s cabinet in November 2011, council members approved a motion that the building be demolished and a car park built on the vacant site.
The cabinet allocated a budget of £48,038 to demolish the building.
A local campaign group was formed and in March 2013, EDDC removed their application to demolish the building.
Following the withdrawal of the demolition of the building, the campaign group has worked to raise awareness of the heritage of the building and the east end of Sidmouth seafront, and in particular the fishing and coastal history of Sidmouth. In November 2013 the group registered as a Community Interest Company (CIC) in order to work on a range of community projects linked to fishing and the sea, and ultimately towards the redevelopment of the Drill Hall. The two main current areas of activity are the European Union funded TourFish project, and Sidmouth Sea Fest from which Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub CIC carries out a number of community support projects.
This is the website of Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub CIC.