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The Save Mill Hall Campaign announces its Nomination of Mill Hall as an ‘Asset of Community Value’.

March 11, 2022 8:16 PM

SAVE MILL HALL ACV

The Save Mill Hall Campaigners have stepped up the pressure on Rochford District Council as it announces its nomination of Mill Hall as a Community Value. Rayleigh Liberal Democrats have outright opposed the asset-stripping of our community facilities since the conception of the 'Asset Delivery Programme' by Rochford District Council. We offer our full backing to this nomination by Save Mill Hall Campaign group.

"Our campaign is proud to put forward our nomination of the Mill Hall Arts & Events Centre and the land it sits on as an 'Asset of Community Value' (ACV). The application was made by our group to Rochford District Council and includes substantial evidential supporting material, which will be published in due course.

What is an ACV? The Localism Act of 2011 states that "It can be listed if a principal use of the asset furthers (or has recently furthered) their community's social well-being or social interests (which include cultural, sporting or recreational interests) and could do so in the future.

It is clear that the Mill Hall meets the definition of an ACV and therefore Rochford District Council must approve our nomination and list it as an Asset of Community Value. There are currently no assets on Rochford District's ACV list so the Mill Hall would become the first to be added should the nomination be approved.

The Mill Hall is an essential cultural and recreational hub for the community and should be protected, reinvigorated and celebrated for current and future generations to come. As Rayleigh and Rochford District faces thousands more houses being built and as the town grows evermore, it is essential that we have a large scale arts and events centre to be proud of and that will serve the community health and wellbeing better as our population increases.

We have taken this step after nearly a year of consultation with our members, continued discussion with local organisations and Mill Hall stakeholders and interested parties. This nomination is the culmination of repeated attempts to get Rochford District Council to listen to residents who do not want the Mill Hall demolished and residential development to take place on the historical site.

Given recent publicised internal discussions within the Council about the future of the site, which indicate the Hall is likely to be demolished, it is essential that Rochford District Council follows the Localism Act and legally recognise Mill Hall as an Asset of Community Value. Our group calls for protection of the hall and land it sits on, investment in the building to enable the reopening, and installation of a competent management company, experienced in the running of arts and events centres.

There is absolutely no reason why the Mill Hall cannot thrive.

The Mill Hall is an integral part of our community, part of people's daily lives and a source of happiness, pride, and well-being for so many. The pandemic has meant those who love culture in their lives haven't heard live music for over a year, or admired a work of art up close, or taken their children to a Pantomime. Getting involved in creative activities in communities reduces loneliness, supports physical and mental health and wellbeing, sustains older people, and helps to build and strengthen social ties.

A revitalised Mill Hall could once again become the hub of our community, providing services and facilities for which there is a strong local demand. In the process, the Mill Hall will continue to help create a more inclusive and vibrant community.

We invite expressions of support for our nomination from Rayleigh and Rochford District residents and call on District and Town Councillors to back our nomination in the interests of the whole district. Rochford District Council has an opportunity to listen to the residents of the district and act to grant this status to one of our most cherished community assets.

The Save Mill Hall Community Group"