The Liberal Democrat group have given a warm welcome to Rochford District Council’s new positive approach to the Mill Hall Arts and Events Centre in Rayleigh.
Rochford District Council Lib Dem Group Leader James Newport told onlineFOCUS “Rayleigh people were very worried when the former Conservative administration announced, at the height of the pandemic, that they wanted to knock down Mill Hall and sell the land to property developers.”
Following intense public pressure, Rochford District Council who own the Mill Arts & Events Centre finally reopened the facility last autumn. A facelift was given to the facilities before opening and hire rates were pegged at pre-covid levels giving users great value for money.
Councillor Newport said “Fortunately the Tories lost control in the May 2023 elections. Now the Lib Dems and other groups in the new joint administration are determined to make the facility a success for local people.”
The new Council agreed at their 7th September meeting that Mill Hall will remain an Arts and Events centre for the people of the District. They also agreed that the bar area will be reopened and run by a specialist events company whenever hall hirers require a licensed bar. Moving forward the Council will carry out a survey and hope to reopen the popular ‘Coffee Mill’ cafe when a suitable prestige partner can be found. During the Council meeting the Conservative Group proposed spending an additional £25,000.00 on consultants to do ‘Market Research’, which was rejected by the new administration.
Councillor Newport told onlineFOCUS “Use of the Mill Hall has picked up very well since re-opening. Residents can check what’s on in the leisure facilities section of the Council’s website or at the Mill itself. There are many things on every weekday, but there are still some time slots available – particularly at the weekend. One of the things we would like to see is better marketing so that users achieve the best possible success for their events. I recommend local clubs and organisations check out availability if they want a good deal. “