Now the library has closed, HCC want to pass the building over to OPC. We want to hear from the community whether this is an asset you want to keep. There is a short survey for you to tell us what you think – please share this link as widely as possible. The decision will be made at the meeting on the 20th April and there is an opportunity to hear more at the Annual Parish Assembly on 13th April.
The Bridewell is an asset of community value owned by Hampshire County Council (HCC). Until 31st December 2020 it housed the Odiham branch of HCC library service. This has now closed and Odiham Parish Council, supported by a community working group, is leading a project to open a Community Book Exchange in its place. The working group, and the 30 volunteers, want to open the Book Exchange in the former library space.
HCC proposes to gift The Bridewell freehold to OPC for the cost of £1 with an option to bid for a grant of £10k towards the backlog of repairs. OPC has to decide whether or not to accept the building. OPC will need to seek grant funding from other sources to improve the building and create a community hub with space for a range of activities including the library, space to rent and services such as hot-desking, story time, support for IT use and so on. If OPC do not take on the Bridewell, HCC intend to dispose of the building. The OPC lease expires in 2026 and OPC would need to negotiate a new lease or move. This will impact the Precept. Local commercial rents are many times higher than the current preferential rate from HCC.
In order to manage the Bridewell at no additional cost to the community via the Precept it would be necessary to generate additional income from the building.
Click here to complete a short survey: Survey
Please email [email protected] if you would prefer to complete the survey by email or would like a paper version.