• Times of Hire
  • As directed by Wealden District Council planning conditions
  • Weekdays
    9am to 10.30pm
  • Saturdays
    9am to 11pm
  • Sundays and
    Public Holidays

    10am to 9pm

Diplocks Hall

The History of Diplocks Hall

The Diplocks Community Trust was set up in 2001, its key objective being to build a Community Hall for The Diplocks housing estate in Hailsham, which had been recognised in an official study as one of Wealden’s more deprived areas. The new building was required to replace two elderly, second-hand portakabins that had stood on the site since 1992 and which had provided the only community facility of any kind in The Diplocks.

Extensive research was undertaken, local statistics were analysed and the opinions of local government, child welfare organisations and the residents in and around The Diplocks was sought. The essential need for a permanent community facility was proved conclusively. Without this help, the project could not have taken place. Check out the gallery to see the amazing development of Diplocks hall!

It took nearly 10 years for the project to come to fruition. The breakthrough came when the Big Lottery set up the Community Buildings programme and the Trust submitted a Stage I application, one of the early applicants. Having effectively demonstrated the need for such a facility in The Diplocks, the Trust was one of the small selection of applicants invited to submit a second stage application.

The team put together by the Trust to prepare the detailed application arrived at an estimated overall cost of around £560,000. In January 2008 the Big Lottery announced that the Project was to receive an award of £391,738 to the project. One of the conditions of grant was that the Trust raised partnership funding of around £170,000 before the project could start.

The target was achieved by Autumn 2008 with Wealden District Council and Hailsham Town Council both contributing major grants to the project, matched by the Home Group Housing Association that owned The Diplocks, and landfill agents Viridor Credits under a government initiative. Other key grants were received through charitable trusts and local fundraising.

The design of the Hall was developed by local architect Raymond Allcorn and the Building Contractor appointed following an extensive interview process was J.H. Payne & Sons of Hailsham. Construction started in April 2009. The building complies with all modern requirements in terms of insulation with all doors and windows double glazed and the walls roof and floors filled with high specification insulation.

The building is also designed with low use of energy in mind. Power for climate control is provided by two air source heat pumps that circulated cooled air in summer and heated in winter.

The main structure was completed in March 2010 after which time was spent in commissioning its “state of the art” facilities. Furniture and a range of equipment was delivered and installed so that the building would be fully operational from the outset. The garden to the rear of the building is mainly grass to provide a safe play area for children and the occasional garden party. Wheelchair access is provided to the garden and throughout the building.

The building’s developers and owners, the Diplocks Community Trust, view the operation of the premises in the style of a village hall with organisations and individuals invited to hire the building. for social events, club activities, parent and toddler sessions, youth groups, study and training courses, committee meetings, film and video presentations, etc.

Community Trust Chairman, Grace Cameron, said “Diplocks Hall is intended to provide much needed modern, safe accommodation for a wide range of interest groups. It will give a boost to social and economic opportunities in the area and will not only greatly improve the provision of community space in and around The Diplocks area, it will go a long way towards providing environmental improvements in the estate itself.

“The building is ecologically friendly and is fully accessible to disabled people. We are particularly pleased that we were able to secure extra funding for two special features - a fully professional kitchen for events requiring catering and a training suite for people of all ages to become familiar with how to use computers for new job opportunities and how to use the internet”.

The Hall is available seven days a week, opening times taking account of Wealden District Council’s planning conditions for a residential area.

Major Donors

Other Key Donors

Invaluable contributions were also made to the project by the following who gave cash donations, offered free professional advice or organised fundraising activities: