OPC steps forward to retain The Bridewell as a community asset
Following months of research and negotiation, OPC has resolved to accept The Bridewell freehold which will transfer ownership and management from Hampshire County Council (HCC) to OPC.
OPC first heard that HCC were looking to dispose of the building late last year once the Hampshire library service closed on 31st December. OPC was already working with community groups to develop a new community led Book Exchange when this news arrived and OPC’s recent decision will secure premises for the new Book Exchange and office premises for OPC and other tenants including the MP and local PCSO.
The Bridewell is a Grade II listed community building in the heart of the village which dates back to 1743 and originally a house of correction. OPC’s decision was supported by a recent Survey Monkey which received an astounding 378 responses, 91% of which said it was important to save this community asset.
OPC Chair, Cllr Dr McFarlane says “This is a great opportunity to develop a community hub in the heart of the village. OPC is aware that taking on a building, especially an historic one, is a significant commitment and it was very important to make sure we had the backing of residents for this decision.”
Once the freehold is transferred and general repairs and maintenance carried out, OPC will be looking at a longer term project which hopes to further develop the building into a thriving and self-sufficient community hub.
Thank you to everyone who showed support and to Topsoil UK Odiham Ltd for their generous and kind donation of £1,000 towards the project.
We hope to provide regular updates on this website. Further details on the Book Exchange are available here.