Future of the Beehive hangs in the balance pending final decision by Honiton Town Council

  Posted: 14.09.20 at 12:41 by Hannah Corfield

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Honiton Community Complex, the charity group that run the Beehive, and Honiton Town Council, who own the leasehold on the building, are to make a final attempt to reach an agreement at a full council meeting due to take place this evening.

For a live stream of the meeting go to the Honiton Nub News Facebook page.

Chair of Honiton Community Complex (HCC), Serena Sexton, will present the contents of an Investment Plan, which has been submitted to councillors for discussion.

HCC requires an annual payment of £45,000 from Honiton Town Council (HTC), if current management of the Beehive is to continue.

In the document, it is stated: “Without a substantial contribution from the Council it is likely that HCC will have to enter into some form of liquidation and the Council will have to take over the running of The Beehive, with all the attendant costs.

“HCC is concerned that the Council’s plans are to then run the Beehive purely as a room hire facility, without a full performing arts programme. In our estimations the costs of doing so would be prohibitive and not sustainable, even in the short term.

“Given the potential cost to the people of Honiton of such a course of action it would seem prudent for Councillors to consider the alternative, an agreement to pay an annual sum to HCC.

“Such an agreement would not only enable the charity to continue to the end of the lease, but also to provide all the benefits to the community of Honiton they have so far been able to enjoy, i.e. a full programme of room hires and performing arts.

“The people of Honiton will not wish to lose what is their jewel in the crown, a venue which they can enjoy for the variety of opportunity it brings, and of which they can be truly proud.

“Is the loss of that facility what HTC really wants, or can we come to a sensible compromise which will secure the future of the Beehive, as it is now, for the next four years?”

Mayor John Zarczynski has previously stated that Honiton Town Council will do ‘all it can’ to keep the Beehive open for users.

Two community groups, Honiton Community Theatre Company and Honiton Health Matters, who use the Beehive have also submitted letters imploring HTC to ‘come to a decision and communicate that to key stakeholders and the wider community’.

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