Odiham Parish Council now owns The Bridewell community building in The Bury!
Following eighteen months of research, working alongside Hampshire County Council, The Bridewell freehold has now transferred from Hampshire County Council to Odiham Parish Council. The property has been gifted to the Parish on the condition it remains as a community building.
Odiham Parish Council first learned that the building was under threat following the announcement that Odiham Library would close at the end of 2020. The Grade II listed Bridewell is as an Asset of Community Value which meant the building was first offered to the Parish before considering other future options.
The Parish Council carried out extensive research on the building condition, associated management costs and alternative options to house the Parish Council Offices. A public consultation gave a 96% response in favour of keeping the Bridewell. After careful consideration of all the pros and cons, OPC formally resolved to accept the freehold in January. The decision will support community activities such as the Odiham Book Exchange and protects office premises for the Parish Council, Police and MP.
Odiham Parish Council Chair Cllr McFarlane says “Residents made it very clear that saving the Bridewell as a community building was a priority so I am delighted the Parish Council has been able to do this. The Odiham Book Exchange is thriving and is the first example of the services that can be brought to Odiham as a result of this acquisition.“
Building repairs will soon be carried out utilising a £10,000 grant from Hampshire County Council. Other funding is also being sought to develop the Bridewell and improve access. The first improvement will be the installation of a second toilet to support future room hirers.
Plans are already under development to enhance the building further and these will be on display in The Bridewell on 26th, 27th and 28th April and a consultation meeting will take place on 3rd May. We need to hear your ideas as to how you want the Bridewell to develop and what activities you would like the building to house.
PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE FUTURE VISION FOR THE BRIDEWELL
TUESDAY 3rd MAY, 6-7pm at The Old School, London Road.
Parish Council public meetings are now being held in the Library Room – a much improved space which can accommodate more members of the public. This has freed up the Parish Room which will now become a Local Heritage Centre managed by the Odiham Society, who are moving their archive there from the 1st April. Look out for news of the planned public exhibitions.