Hello Everyone!

Much has been happening behind the scenes since the Council’s thrilling vote in our favour at the end of July.

But before going into details, let’s start with our forthcoming events… and a plea!

8th of October, 10am to 12: We will be taking part in the citywide Big Clean, the aim being to prepare Canterbury for the influx of visitors coming to enjoy the Festival. In our case, as opening night is on Friday 14th October at the Westgate Hall, we’d like to have the flowerbeds showing the best of Autumn colours. So do join us for weeding and planting from 10.00 – 12.00 on the 8th. Please bring spare plants if you have any.

22nd October, 7pm: Curry & Quiz: In collaboration with the Canterbury Curry Club to raise funds to secure and refurbish the Westgate Hall. Tickets are £10 and include quiz entry and food
Bring your own drinks. Book tables of 6, 8 or singles by emailing wct@westgatecommunityhall.org.uk or calling Chris on 01227 712355

And the plea: the Trust has entered the Natwest CommunityForce competition, we are hoping to win £6,000, which would be invaluable as we complete the process of securing tenancy of the Hall and undertake the refurbishment. We need lots of people to vote for our project in order to win, so please, vote for the Trust and spread the word as widely as you can! http://communityforce.natwest.com/project/5891 Voting ends the 23rd of October. We have had 19 votes so far, hopefully we can get a quite a lot more, with your help.

And what’s happened since decision day last July:
The week after the vote, we were in the Council negotiating the Heads of Terms of our 99-year lease. The Council voted to accept these on 15th September. Now lawyers on all sides, the Trust, Curzon and the cinemas are working on the detailed leases and sub-leases.

The Trust is completing the process of changing entity: from a community group we are about to become a company limited by guarantee. The process should be completed within the next weeks, after which we will be applying for charitable status. We will update you on progress, and look forward to seeing you at our Trust meeting at the Westgate Hall, we’ll confirm the date soon.

Our architects are finalizing the refurbishment plans and we are working with the planning department in the Council. We are also coordinating with user groups to ensure the Hall will be accessible to all.

Unfortunately — and we fully understand how incredibly frustrating this is for all concerned — we can’t yet give a timeline regarding temporary closure of the Hall to allow building work to take place. We will inform you immediately this is clear — we are working on getting this out as rapidly as possible.

Finally, Saturday, 27th November: We are looking forward to launching the Christmas season with our Grand Christmas Fayre!