Liz helps promote Sidmouth's Kennaway House

NOW Sidmouth s Kennaway House is up and running after its restoration, work is underway to promote it as a community building, to be used in a multitude of ways.

NOW Sidmouth's Kennaway House is up and running after its restoration, work is underway to promote it as a community building, to be used in a multitude of ways.

Liz Halls has joined the team as temporary part-time marketing manager, helping manager Lorna Lavender run the Regency house off Coburg Road.

As well as updating its website, Liz is producing promotional material to remind people it is there to be used.

Sidmouth's community supported the �1 million fundraising efforts to have the house restored and now needs to back it by using it, she said.

"It needs to be well known and well used, it is quite a big task."

Liz, 53, is well-equipped to succeed. She left a job with Open University as head of regional collaboration in Milton Keynes, supporting its 10 English regional centres, to move to Sidmouth to be near her parents, who have lived there 25 years.

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A former OU graduate, gaining a first class honours degree in Maths, Liz became a Maths tutor for the home-based university before taking on an administrative role.

Other jobs while living in Wimbledon included working part-time for an interior designer and as a school dinner lady.

Had she chosen another course Liz might have moved to Devon sooner. As a sixthformer she had a place at Exmouth's Rolle College to do teacher training.

"I didn't take it up and went to the French Institute in London to do a two-year bi-lingual secretarial course instead," said Liz, who hails from Gloucester.

"I have strong administrative skills and know how to write promotional leaflets. I am finding out about Kennaway House and the procedure for running the house and taking bookings as well as understanding the Friends' role."

Re-assessing the its website, Liz has tackled areas covering weddings, arts and exhibitions rather than its history.

"I am tightening up the wording. All the focus has been getting the building refurbished and restored. Now it is open there has got to be a change on the focus to bringing in an income."

Having not been involved with the fundraising campaign Liz thinks it will be easier for her to tackle this.

"We have to take the building forward to make it commercially successful at the same time as maintaining charitable status.

"We need to bring in �20,000 on top of the income we have already got and it will be tough."

Liz has developed three different flyers for weddings, business meetings/conferences and exhibitions.

Tempting events for next year include a readers and writers season with a one-man show in March by crime writer Colin Dexter, author of the Inspector Morse novels and a crime-writing day in April.

A big name in the world of cooking is also lined up for a focus on food in May.

The house is also used for Devon adult and continuing learning classes, including IT and languages.