4,500 sign up to stop sale of Exmouth's Elizabeth Hall

Profile image for ExmouthPeople

By ExmouthPeople | Thursday, May 10, 2012, 23:12

NEARLY 4,500 people have now signed the petition to stop the sale of Exmouth's Elizabeth Hall. The campaign is gaining momentum as For Sale signs went up earlier this week on the seafront community building, confirming East Devon District Council's decision to sell the Victorian hall. And the debate is deepening, with local MP Hugo Swire supporting EDDC's plans for the redevelopment of the site…

A spokesperson for Friends of the Elizabeth Hall confirmed that 4,480 signatures have now been received. The number of signatures is gathering pace as community groups, such as the Exmouth Light Orchestra and the specially formed Friends of the Elizabeth Hall, turn up the heat with letters in the press, a poster campaign around the town, a soon to be launched website and many shops taking the petition.

The campaigners want to see the Hall saved and enhanced for future generations, emphasising its use as an arts centre, small concert hall, meeting hall and rehearsal area. One supporter, writing to the local press, enthused about the hall, describing it as an "Exmouth landmark" that "adds distinction and dignity to the seafront, and is a reminder of a lost world of gentility and elegance".

Meanwhile East Devon MP Hugo Swire has sided with EDDC. In the Exeter Express and Echo, he said that "Exmouth needs good-quality arts facilities. But the Elizabeth Hall is a small space occupying a large space. I think we can have a better building than what we've got at the moment."

Not fit for purpose

Selling the Elizabeth Hall was one of the major proposals in the Exmouth Masterplan, the document that outlined EDDC's future regeneration of the town. EDDC insists that the Elizabeth Hall is not fit for purpose. The decision has been backed by Devon Councillor and Exmouth Champion Tim Wood, who said that "the Elizabeth Hall has been a good servant to the town but now looks tired and out of place on such an important seafront location. It's right to respect and look after your past when it matters, but not to be a slave to it either, and Exmouth needs to compete with other visitor locations if it wants to revive its fortunes."

The building is being sold through commercial property agents Jones Lang Lasalle. On its website, the agents describe Elizabeth Hall as "a prime development site located on The Esplanade, benefitting from sea views of Lyme Bay". It has "potential for change, including a replacement landmark building".

Alternative accommodation

It's understood that the bidding process will continue until November, and the sale procedure will conclude in mid 2013. EDDC says it has pledged to work with Exmouth Town Council to help current users of the site find alternative accommodation within the town. The Council also says it will consider a community-led bid for the site, provided it offers "a competitive market value".

Organized by the Friends of the Elizabeth Hall, the petition to save the Hall is now available in many of the town shops and outlets, including Franklins on the Strand, Tasti Mana, Moreys and Sitting Pretty. In addition, campaigners have been in action around the Magnolia Centre. You can also learn more about the campaign – and sign the petition – at the Elizabeth Hall on Sundays during the weekly charity market.

Should Exmouth's Elizabeth Hall be saved for the community? Let us know your views...



max 4000 characters

Latest Stories in Exmouth


Local Vouchers

  • We Buy Used Motorhomes

    North Devon Motorhomes

    We buy used motorhomes, best cash prices paid.
    Tel: 01271 866333 - Mobile: 07769 754968

    Terms: www.NDMH.co.uk

    Contact: 01271 866333

    Valid until: Friday, October 10 2014

  • FREE FOR 6 MONTHS Rent Guarantee and Legal Expenses Cover on all NEW Managed Rental Instructions

    Bradleys Estate Agents Ltd

    If you are looking to rent out a property, take advantage of this policy that ensures that the returns on your property investment are not damaged by non payment of rent and a costly eviction process.

    Terms: Offer only available on all new managed instructions during September 2014. Policy must be ordered within 14 days after the tenancy agreement starts. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer

    Contact: 01395 224800

    Valid until: Tuesday, September 30 2014

  • Luxury Blow-Dry & Moroccan Oil Condiontioning Treatment!

    Viva Hair

    Intense conditioning treatment with luxury blow-dry.

    Terms: 1 voucher per person, may print additional as gift. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. New clients only. Only available with selected stylist.

    Contact: 01392349350

    Valid until: Tuesday, September 30 2014


Local Jobs


Search for...

Min price is bigger than Max price
Min price is bigger than Max price
Min rent is bigger than Max rent