The Beehive in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, will be an accessible, modern and welcoming community facility designed to provide much needed community space and a modern theatre for the town's talented local drama groups and societies. It will also be a venue for high quality professional performances. It will have a dance studio and rehearsal suite, meeting rooms and break-out areas. Over time, and subject to funds, it can be expanded to provide more facilities for our growing town. The Beehive will play a key role in signposting the town as a key destination point for local and national performers and artists. Click on the following links to download a copy of The Beehive Leaflet which was delivered via Royal Mail Door to Door in the week commencing 22 February, an FAQ Sheet and the relevant Beehive pages from the April issue of About Town.
To fund Phase 1 of the The Beehive building project Burgess Hill Town Council is proposing to borrow up to £4.8m from the Public Works Loan Board, which is a government body that offers very low rates of interest. The Town Council will not need to increase its element of the council tax to repay the loan which will be funded from existing budgets without the need to cut services.
However residents needed to support our loan request. A quick survey poll went between 22 March and 21st April 2021.
A Bit of History
In October 1972 the Martlets Hall in Burgess Hill was opened by the then chairman of the Arts Council, Lord Goodman. At the time he said that the hall “manifested the desire of people to live as a civilised community should live.” Over the years the Martlets Hall and its other rooms provided a focal point for the community. In 2016, the owners of the Martlets Hall, Mid Sussex District Council, decided that the building was not needed and it was closed (and later demolished) to make way for the town centre redevelopment scheme.
Unfortunately, the District Council decided not to provide a replacement despite a campaign in the town which attracted the support of over 7000 residents. As a result of this, Burgess Hill Town Council took the decision to investigate how it might be able to step in and provide a replacement community facility and performing arts venue.
The Beehive will run on a not-for-profit basis and was registered as a charity in October 2020 as The Beehive CIO (Charity number: 1191705). Like all Charities we have brought on board a number of patrons from the fields of the arts, community and local business to support the promotion of The Beehive project. As a tribute to the life of Dame Vera Lynn, who was a Patron, we shall be dedicating the auditorium to her.