At the end of January, the Trustees of Halesworth Campus and our partners held a public exhibition at Halesworth Library to showcase the latest proposals for the development of the Campus site (on the corner of Norwich Road and Harrisons Lane). Representatives from Sentinel Leisure Trust, Castlemeadow Care and Construction Training Specialists, together with the Trustees, hosted a steady trickle of visitors.
We are very excited about the project and the positive impact it will have on the town, and it is important to us to get the views of the people who live here. The exhibition was a great success and we had a lot of supportive comments. People were interested and engaged and asked a lot of questions!
The outdoor tennis courts close to the Apollo youth club building on the Campus are ready for free use from the start of August. Youth club members will be able to use the courts on club evenings, and a number of racquets and tennis balls will be made available.
At other times the courts will be unlocked and available for free use according to demand. The main gate to the site is from Harrisons Lane, and this is unlocked at certain times. However there is pedestrian access via the gate on Bungay Road and the footpath. Please contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in using the courts, and watch for further notices of opening times. We are keen for people to have fun playing tennis, and get in lots of practice.
Campus trustees ask simply that you respect the facilities and other court users. Please take any litter home with you, or use the litter bins outside the Apollo building.
As usual the Campus will be hosting tag rugby for all ages on the grass pitches on Monday evenings.
On 4 July, the first meeting of the Campus Arts Advisory Group was held. This is made up of people involved in the arts locally, and representatives from several arts-related organisations. Drawing on their expertise, knowledge and imagination, the Campus aims to ensure that the new facilities are designed in the best possible way to create a pleasing and stimulating environment. This includes the quality of materials used in construction, and the creation of walkways, seating, planting and siting of art works across the Heathy Neighbourhood area.
We were pleased to be able to provide hard-standing on the Campus for the caravans and support vehicles of the Richard Curtis / Danny Boyle film unit for a few nights at the start of May 2018. As the photo shows, it was a rainy week, so the Skills Centre, the car park, and the old tennis courts proved very useful, alongside the use the crew made of the town car park. Our thanks to the Apollo youth club which suspended its meetings that week in order to make way for them.
This month Campus trustees passed important stages in signing the legal agreements and documentation concerning the sale of part of the site to Castlemeadow Care. The money from this sale will be devoted to the development of the new sports facilities. We are really looking forward now to submitting detailed plans to Waveney District Council as the next step in seeking planning permission for the whole development.
Halesworth Campus was represented at the Living Well event organised by Halesworth Volunteer Centre and the Waveney Community team, where all kinds of organisations were able to network and learn more about one another. We also made a live presentation to Halesworth town councillors and provided them with up-to-date details of the Campus project. We meet regularly with some town councillors and the Apollo Youth Club leader, and talk to other youth-focused organisations, because we are concerned to play a full part in creating and improving opportunities for young people – including in sports, in training and in volunteering.
Congratulations to Southwold Rugby, who train on the Campus, and whose first XV have gained promotion to London 2 North East – their highest level yet.
The trustees of Halesworth Campus were sad to lose our dear friend and colleague Erik Wilcock who died on 6th March 2018. The funeral and celebration of his life was packed with family members, friends, colleagues and former pupils who came to honour how much Erik meant to them.
Erik’s voluntary commitment to the Halesworth Campus project was outstanding. As one of its founders, and as a very active trustee over the last six years, he was passionate about creating opportunities for local people to play sports, and for young people to learn and develop new skills. We will miss him terribly, and regret deeply that he did not live to see the completion of the project he cared so much about.
But we do believe that thousands of people in the years to come will benefit from the vision Erik worked tirelessly to achieve.
The Campus Development Board approved an Arts Policy to include promotion of the role of the arts in forward planning.
- An enhanced physical environment – by art on walls and sculpture in the landscape; beautiful planting; well designed furniture and signage; sympathetic colour schemes; good materials; architectural design and layout; beautiful places to walk, run, cycle and sit
- Increased wellbeing because art can – bring on a smile or frown; make you calm; positively arouse emotions; get people interested in new things; tap into unknown talents; involve those who are disengaged; be beautiful to look at or feel
- Community engagement across the generations, genders and abilities – working with schools and youth club to get young people designing and creating; elderly people expressing themselves; those who are excluded finding a voice; people finding a different focus to everyday life; beautiful new relationships formed
- Support for local art organisations and artists – building on the interest already shown by organisations such as Art Link and The Cut money will be sought to commission art pieces and group projects so creating beautiful art for the Campus
In the Skills Centre, evening classes in “Computing for the timid”, Digital photography, and Sugarcraft/cake decoration, began with good attendance.
Big January storms damaged the fencing around part of the Campus site. Thankfully, the Apollo youth club organisers took quick remedial action to help ensure safe access to their building. In February work squads from the Community Payback scheme removed the fencing and did substantial clean-up work on site.
The Halesworth Campus Development Board continues to meet regularly to coordinate efforts and advance the overall Campus project. The board brings together representatives of Sentinel Leisure Trust, CTS, Castlemeadow Care, Pulse Fitness, Halesworth Health, and Halesworth Volunteer Centre. It is chaired by Edward Hare, an independent chairperson who has experience of other major partnership projects. Two working groups support the Development Board:
- The Property Group co-ordinates all property matters – including sales, leases, planning & design, the build phases.
- The Operations Group co-ordinates all operational matters – including publicity, volunteering, transport and public/community art
Campus Trustees met with Apollo youth club leaders and agreed a new lease for the youth club premises. Town councillors accepted that they had issued wrong information about the Apollo youth club lease, and they published an apology and correction on the Town Council website. Halesworth Campus stated that it has been supportive of the youth club and its activities for several years, and will go on being so.