Mission accomplished and a new chapter opens

After months of silence we can at last let you all know the outcome of what we have been working on behind the scenes.

The deal is done.  The Westgate Community Trust, Curzon Cinemas and the Council have all signed the second half of the lease transferring the Westgate Hall to the Trust for 99 years.   We expect the transaction to be completed by the end of this week, latest next week.  (There are only a couple of formalities to tidy up.)

Almost as exciting is the fact that we have been awarded a £344,497 grant from a £5.5 million Department for Communities and Local Government community assets fund.  The Hall is one of seventeen community buildings and spaces across the country to benefit.  Managed by the Social Investment Business Group, the fund’s purpose is to help them reopen to the public or improve their current use.

In our case, we will be able to transform the Westgate Hall into a fully functioning community space in the centre of Canterbury from the outset.  Together with Curzon Cinemas, we will be starting the refurbishment work within days, and we’ll be giving you regular updates on progress.

None of what has been achieved since February 2010 would have been possible without the support of our community in its broadest sense, with the willingness of all groups to step up and take part in the debate about how we would like our city to develop, and what kind of life we would like to be able to live here in the coming years.  This is a true community success story.

And now, onto the next chapter…the refurbishment.

We are aiming to have the grand opening in May/June and already indications are that bookings for the Hall are likely to be snapped up quickly, so if your club/group is interested in using it, please do get in touch by emailing us at westgatecommunitytrust@gmail.com

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