New Windmill Hall, Upminster, to be spruced up after community group takes over its management

An Upminster community hall will be spruced up after being taken over by some of its users.

An eight-member committee has picked up the day-to-day running and financial risk of the New Windmill Hall from Havering Council.

Chairman John Neville explained that users of the hall banded together into a committee in January to start working towards taking over the St Mary’s Lane facility.

He said: “The council is trying to remove from its responsibility all the community halls.

“Towards the end of last year we were approached and those people who were members of groups here wanted to form a committee to take it on.

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From January until this week we’ve been working towards it. It was a hell of a time, very busy, but the council has now signed the lease over to us.”

The Upminster and District Horticultural Society member said: “It’s been here since 1968, it’s used for all sorts of things, functions and meetings.

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“It’s a damn good hall and it’s been a bit run-down over the years. We’ll be running it on a ten-year lease and we’ll be trying to manage it into the black.”

The group is starting with a grant from waste company Veolia, and a donation from Havering Council, and it will be given a new kitchen and toilet facilities.

Use of the hall fell in the past year but the 75-year-old said: “We’ve already had a few new bookings this week.”

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