Armstrong Hall campaigners launch survey
A GROUP hoping to save Thornbury's Armstrong Hall complex is carrying out a study to see if its plans can work.
The Armstrong Hall Action Alliance has formed in response to the decision of the hall's charitable trust in March to keep the building closed after lockdown.
At least £77,000 of repairs would be needed before the hall could reopen “safely", the trust said.
There had been long-term plans to demolish the hall and rebuild it but the funding which had been expected before the pandemic is no longer available.
But the AHAA says it "continues to be optimistic about the possibility of resurrecting this vital arts and community venue to Thornbury".
The group says it has received a" wealth of support and expertise" from the local community, and has set out a plan for what it sees as the potential long-term future of the Armstrong Hall Complex.
Helen Cornes, from the AHAA, said: "The first step of this plan is to assess if the group’s aims are viable in the ‘real world’.
"As such, the AHAA is undertaking a viability study to test the appetite of the local community for such a venue in Thornbury, as well as to scrutinise the financial and operational needs and implications of the project.
"AHAA is delighted that the Armstrong Hall Trust have agreed to support this viability study, which is expected to be complete by the end of October this year."
As the study weighs up the practicalities of reopening the complex, AHAA is asking residents of Thornbury and the surrounding area to take part in a survey and give their opinions on restoring the venue, to answer some key questions.
Helen said: "Will it be popular and well-supported? Will people volunteer to help, or be willing to contribute via donations or subscriptions for services if the project were to go ahead? Do the community still feel there is a need for the Armstrong Hall?"
Anyone who wants to have their say can find the questionnaire online at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XYCWTCP.
The survey is open until October 8 and paper copies are available by calling 01454 413850.
The group is also still keen to receive memories of the Armstrong Hall and people's impressions of what it means to them.
To get involved or keep up to date with the progress of AHAA, email firstname.lastname@example.org or search Armstrong Hall Action Alliance on Facebook.
Picture: Inside Thornbury's Armstrong Hall