Covid-19 – Hall Closure after Sunday 22 March

In the light of the latest government advice and the probability that restrictions will soon be tightened we have very reluctantly come to the decision that we need to close Exeter Street Hall for the time being. The Hall will be closed after the evening of Sunday, 22nd March. Hirers who would normally use the Hall between now and the closure may choose to go ahead or cancel.

We will review the situation in the week after Easter and at regular intervals afterwards.

Hirers who have paid for future use of the Hall have the choice of:

  1. leaving their money with us, to be put towards future sessions once activity can be resumed (with a guarantee that existing time slots can be kept), or
  2. receiving a refund for unused sessions/events (including deposits)

Please contact the Hall Manager ([email protected] or 01273 561149) if you want to discuss your options or the arrangements you have with the Hall.

The Hall is financially solvent at present, and we should be able to keep paying our costs during the coming months. We will need to economise on energy use and scale back building and restoration plans. We will continue to pay our two employees during the shutdown.

Volunteers will be helping with community-wide initiatives such as a scheme to ensure people who are in isolation get essential supplies and support. We will update the Hall website with details of this scheme when we have them. Also, we ask everyone to remember that food banks still need both provisions and money. Please bring any provisions you can donate (especially long-life milk and toiletries) to the Hall’s FareShare repository this week. We are looking into the possibility of an outdoor collection point.

Obviously, the national situation is constantly changing. For the latest advice, see the NHS Coronavirus Advice and the UK Government Response.

Other news

We are very pleased to welcome Susan Corlett as our new Hall Manager. Many of you will already know Susan as she has been a volunteer from the very beginning, was a Director and Chair of the Management Committee for a while and has even had a previous spell as Hall Manager. Susan will be taking up her post shortly and there will be an extended handover period. The Hall Manager can be contacted at [email protected] and via the normal Hall phone number 01273 561149.

Our retiring manager, Amanda Nichols, has done a truly excellent job over the past two years. She has significantly helped to increase awareness and use of the Hall and she has been a friendly and helpful contact for both new and existing Hall users.  Happily, we are not losing her completely as she will still be volunteering with the building team and helping with events when we reopen. Many thanks, Amanda.

Eagle-eyed passers-by may recently have noticed mysterious small circles indenting the concrete in front of the Hall. These are not a sign of alien contact but markers for the placement of bicycle racks which will soon be installed.

The transition from The Hall Get Involved Ltd to our new community benefit society, Exeter Street Community Hall Ltd, is carrying on, bit by bit and mostly invisibly to Hall users. We have a new ‘registered office’ sign on the front door and, more importantly, our application to transfer the property title is now being processed by the Land Registry. In the course of preparing for the transfer we (rather belatedly) changed the official name of the property from St. Luke’s Church Hall to Exeter Street Community Hall – although it will continue to be called Exeter Street Hall everywhere except in legal documents.