Drill Hall campaigners share vision at new HQ

Louise Cole and Kate Barber in the new Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub shop in Libra Court. Ref shs 8624-24-

Louise Cole and Kate Barber in the new Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub shop in Libra Court. Ref shs 8624-24-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

A social enterprise is sharing its vision for the Drill Hall from a new base now a ‘crowd-funding’ appeal has hit its target.

Matt Booth and his team see the support for their Libra Court unit as an endorsement of their efforts so far to bring the community together and emphasise the town’s fishing history.

Their new hub will serve as a base to interact with residents and visitors face-to-face, sell local goods and plan events to spread the word.

“It feels great to have reached the target,” said Matt. “As always, we welcome all feedback on this issue and are keen to have a strong debate on the future of the Drill Hall and Port Royal.”

The Sidmouth Drill Hall Hub features information on what the campaigners have done so far, including organising two successful Sea Fests and drawing up an architect’s impression of how the long-empty seafront property could look.

They hope to see it used for community events such as gigs and dances, as well as offering arts and cooking workshops.

Such sessions have been piloted over the last year and Louise Cole, another volunteer, said some youngsters had been completely unaware of the town’s fishing heritage.

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“Part of what we’re doing is filling a gap in the curriculum,” she said.

“We want to link to Sidmouth’s past and future and work with students to show what opportunities there are.

“If they concrete over the Drill Hall we’ll be less able to make that connection.”

The fundraiser hit its target last week but closed today (Friday) to allow people to continue to show their support and ensure the unit can keep operating after the initial lease.

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