The Neighbourhood Plan identifies a Cultural & Community HUB as part of the Town Centre redevelopment scheme. Provision of this will be supported by redevelopment of current community / ancillary buildings to create a new multi-purpose cultural Hub.
Two sites have the potential to make this happen. The Memorial Hall and an adjacent single storey building (an indoor bowling club) owned by the Town Council offer an opportunity to redevelop the whole site to provide a Cultural & Community HUB.
Trustees of The New Milton Memorial Centre and New Milton Town Council as Trustee of the War Memorial Recreation Ground have worked closely together over the last 2 years to help make this happen, with the Town Council investing over £10,000 towards this project by way of legal and professional fees in taking this joint initiative forward.
On 9 July 2019, the two trusts issued a Joint Public Statement stating a Working Group was being formed to co-ordinate plans for the New Milton Community & Cultural Hub and to progress these in consultation with local people.
The intention was that the proposed redevelopment would be overseen by an independent charitable trust on behalf of the community. That initiative builds on proposals originally put forward by the New Milton Memorial Centre with the support of the Town Council, as outlined in the Neighbourhood Plan recently adopted at Referendum on 6 May 2021.
The Town Council has decided to temporarily “pause” the HUB project – in light of recent communications from the Memorial Centre Trustees, indicating their wish to progress alternative plans – but it looks forward to realising the Town Centre Vision set out in the Neighbourhood Plan to secure a cultural / civic presence in the centre of the town.
We very much hope the Memorial Centre are able to help us achieve this Vision as planned.
Cllr. Geoff Blunden
Chairman of the Amenities Committee
On behalf of:
New Milton Town Council
Tel: 01425 619120