Closure of Pant Memorial Hall due to coronavirus

UPDATE 28th July: statement below still applies – we continue to work on our reopening plans.
Statement from 26th June: the trustees of Pant Memorial Hall continue to monitor government  guidance, and a working party is meeting weekly via zoom to formulate a  plan of action for committee approval. While community buildings in  England can reopen from July 4, the current government information  status is ‘further guidance coming soon’. We are strongly discouraged  from holding some events and it is very difficult to know where to set  boundaries. At present we do not anticipate being able to take bookings  before September. We continue to plan for reopening and for the measures  that we will have to take, and will update as the situation evolves. Thanks for your patience, please bear with us and we wish everyone well.

Please bear us in mind for the future and we are sorry that we can’t open at the moment. Happy to help with any queries; please contact secretary@pantmemorialhall.org.uk

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This is believed to be the first closure (apart from for refurbishment) in the 98 year history of the hall. We are very conscious of the impact on our hirers, especially the many small businesses that use the hall, but sadly we feel that we have no alternative. Most of our hirers had already cancelled their bookings in advance of the closure from March 23rd.

Information for hirers

We are unable to take new bookings for the hall until further notice. Sadly all bookings made for 2020 are now cancelled as we will have to change the hall timetable when we reopen, to allow for new procedures.

There is no access to the building for anyone except designated committee members and volunteers. Please do not enter the hall unless you are in one of these groups.

Maintaining the hall during closure

The hall is in the charge of the charity ‘Pant Memorial Institute’ as well as a valued community asset. For both insurance and good practice, the committee will carry out regular checks on the building while it is out of use, and will keep a record of these. The fire safety systems will be checked as now (so don’t worry if you hear the alarm briefly, probably on a Monday). Cleaning and gardening contracts are continuing to keep the hall in good order.

Financial statement

The hall has been well-used over the last few years. Prudent financial management means that the charity has reserves. These will allow us to pay the ongoing costs during the closure despite total cessation of income. We are also grateful for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant which provides a further financial cushion.

Our reserves obviously will not last forever, but at present we have enough to continue for at least two years. We sincerely hope that we will be able to reopen long before then.

We were successful in our lottery grant application to upgrade the lighting system in the hall. This work has now been carried out.

We are putting all other non-essential expenditure on hold, with the exception of items already in progress where we will of course honour our committments.

What can I do to help?

Please keep following our facebook feed for news. While we are not directly soliciting donations, there are still ways to support us. You can shop online with GiveasYoulive, sell items for our charity on ebay, buy our postcards and support our grant applications. We are keeping an eye on the building, but if you spot any problems please don’t hesitate to contact us, either by phone to 07913 565708 or email to  secretary@pantmemorialhall.org.uk.   We will of course remain contactable for any queries.

The hall has been a valued community asset since 1922, and we hope that it will not be too long before we can reopen it.  Thank you for your support – past, present and future. We wish everyone good health and peace during this difficult time.

The committee of Pant Memorial Institute