By Claire Cooper
Plans for Ansty Village Centre in Ansty have moved a further step forward.
Mid Sussex District Council has granted planning permission for a new community centre. With permission already in place for a single hall, this gives the village a choice of two replacements for the ageing and well-loved meeting place.
Ansty Village Hall was originally a First World War army hut, which was dismantled in Holland and sold to the village by the Canadians in 1921.
Although old, with no proper foundations and in desperate need of repair, the hall is still a hive of activity and is home to many village organisations, such as the Ansty Sports & Social Club (AS&SC) as well as a monthly Arts and Crafts Club, Friendship Group, Garden Club and Card and Games Group. There are also Zumba classes, ballet lessons and even a school for problematic pets!
Following a request from the Ansty and Staplefield Parish Council and Mid Sussex District Council, further plans were drawn up for a bigger community centre to incorporate the village hall and social club, and provide changing rooms for the cricket and football teams.
Now these plans have been passed, villagers are focusing their efforts on raising the £1m needed to fund the centre.
Members of the Ansty Village Hall Trust, Ansty Sports and Social Club and Ansty Cricket Club have been raising funds and are currently applying for charitable status for the Ansty Village Centre Trust (AVC).
An application submitted by the AVC for funding from Mid Sussex District Council was successful, resulting in a grant of £127k. A public works loan of £100k is to be taken out by Ansty and Staplefield Parish Council.
The AVC have until 2015 to raise enough money to fund the new Community Building. “We are desperate to raise the rest of the funds needed in order that we can build a modern energy saving, environmentally friendly community centre – especially as we have lost our Public House, Church, Village Shop and Post Office. The hall is the only place where the residents can gather.”
Members of the Ansty Village Hall Trust and the AS&SC have been raising funds for several years with events including race nights, auctions and pudding evenings, coffee mornings, cream teas and barbecues. In Cuckfield, members take part in the Mayor’s procession, the Cuckoo Fair and the Christmas Tree Festival in Holy Trinity Church. The next event will be the Ansty Village Multi Garage Sale, from 10am to 2pm on 26th April, when home owners in the village will be selling a selection of goods from the driveways of their homes. There will also be a sale in the village hall, plus coffee, teas and cakes!
Vice Chairman of the Village Hall Trust and event organiser, Marion Petitpierre explained: “We will produce a brochure with addresses and a map of everyone taking part, with a brief summary of items being sold. Brochures, which will also be entered into a lucky draw, can be bought for £1.50 at the village hall, where refreshments will also be on sale.”
Marion is also organising a second ‘200 Club’ lottery where, after 200 tickets are sold for £10, one lucky ticket holder will win £1,000.
Other events being planned will include a Summer Barbeque, Cream Tea, Bridge Drive, Village Fun Day on August Bank Holiday Monday and the annual sale of bacon butties to motorists and spectators from the Veteran Car Rally which passes through the village in November.
For more information, contact Maureen Gibson firstname.lastname@example.org 01444 413061 or Marion Petitpierre email@example.com 01444 453277. For the Village Fun Day contact Brian Fletcher firstname.lastname@example.org