Brierley Hill Civic Hall: Unlocking potential and creativity together

Dudley CVS will take on the running of Brierley Hill Civic Hall from next month in an arrangement that aims to make the venue an exciting hub and to make Brierley Hill a vibrant destination for entertainment and leisure.

More than just bricks and mortar; community assets are about the people and activities they attract. This photo is of Volunteer Award winners packed into the foyer of Brierley Hill Civic Hall.

More than just bricks and mortar; community assets are about the people and activities they attract. This photo is of Volunteer Award winners packed into the foyer of Brierley Hill Civic Hall.

As reported in the local press, the ownership, staffing, insurance and maintenance of the building will sit with the local authority but the budget saved on rate reduction will allow for greater flexibility and increased use of the building.

Until now, we haven’t been in a position to talk publicly about the ambitious plans for Brierley Hill Civic Hall. But in the coming months, we’ll be engaging the groups that currently use the venue as well as other organisations, businesses, colleges and the Brierley Hill community as a whole on the vision for the Civic Hall. Brierley Hill Civic Hall is a community building; it should be open for the community and we want to find out what local people want from THEIR Civic Hall.

On Monday evening, I welcomed the first opportunity to discuss the future of Brierley Hill Civic Hall at a meeting of Brierley Hill Civic Society. It was a great opportunity to discuss how this new approach could be a great opportunity to rejuvenate facilities like Brierley Hill Civic Hall and make them sustainable, community-owned hubs.

Discussions also covered increasing low-cost usage for community and charitable activities during daytime hours, subsidised by diverse business use for shows, events, exhibitions, concerts and fayres. Questions and comments also included how plans will be communicated, promotion of events there and the timescales involved.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be organising engagement events and activities to listen to what people want from their Civic Hall, as well as opening up media channels dedicated to Brierley Hill Civic Hall. In the meantime, I’m keen to open up discussions here where anyone can ask me questions, share their ideas, thoughts and aspirations for Brierley Hill Civic Hall.

Whether you’re an interested promoter or a creative person with big ideas, if you belong to an organisation that could bring events or activities to Brierley Hill, or if you’re a local resident who wants to see the Civic thrive, please get in touch!

So what’s your vision for Brierley Hill Civic Hall? What events would you like to see there? What has it missed over the years? Have you seen something great elsewhere that you’d be excited to see on your doorstep? How could you or your organisation be involved in bringing events to Brierley Hill Civic Hall?

I’m looking forward to hearing from you and building a vibrant community space together.

10 thoughts on “Brierley Hill Civic Hall: Unlocking potential and creativity together

  1. Would love to do a free lunch club for the elderly. I can provide a good meal and reassurance to family and friends by delivering to the home but the one thing I can’t bring is the social aspect that many elderly residents are missing. There’s a whole host of community projects that I’d like to include, such as those who deal with mental illness and dementia and those who run activity classes and bring them in to a big dinner and get them to do talks about what they do so that the elderly can become involved in a big community.

  2. Hi Sarah

    I love your idea, and I was just thinking about how food really is such a communal thing. Not just the eating of it. Do you think there would be ways for interested and willing/able older people to help to prep the lunches with you, share recipe ideas, lay the tables, help with clearing and washing up? Maybe even bring ingredients? It would require a bit of thinking through, but I am convinced that the invitation to people to undertake small acts like this go a long way to them feeling valued and acknowledged, thus having an important impact on their wellbeing.

  3. Thanks,

    Regarding cooking and prepping it depends if the Civic Hall has a big enough kitchen. Our kitchen is too compact to have a group of people trying to prep food together I’m afraid.

    The traditional roast goes down well with everyone and does allow people to be in charge of one part of it.

    If we were to make it into such a communal thing do you think it should be in aid of a specific date?

    I’m afraid to say I do have other ideas!

    One in particular has stuck with me today, which is that of a old cinema day. The hall has some great projection facilities and think this would be a fantastic way to use them.

    It could be open to all however it would really serve a great purpose to those suffering from dementia and their carers. I’m doing a talk at a dementia cafe next month which has got me thinking more about how we can do more for those affected.

    Old movies were a BIG deal, I had a lady who used to tell me everyday about the ques that went round the block. TV can be confusing for those suffering with dementia, they can’t remember the storylines of soaps etc but old movies however have that nostalgia , prompting their old memories and giving carers a couple of hours to relax and meet others in the same situation.

    Personally, as an old movie buff I’d just love a chance to watch my favourites. I vote for ‘Roman Holiday’ first!!

    It could easily be supported by money raised from teas, coffees, cakes and of course mini pots if icecream and popcorn!

  4. HI Sarah. This is a really good idea. My husband used to work at a cinema where they ran an old movie every Wednesday morning at 10:30 am every week for a small nominal fee of £2.00. They used to offer a cup of tea or coffee with it and it was always busy. Musicals were always popular and when they reran Gone with the Wind, there were queues around the block lol 🙂 So many great options.

  5. Lovely ideas! They remind me of one of the groups I support called The Seniors Luncheon Club. They’re based in Stourbridge and they meet monthly for a 3 course meal prepared and served by older people for older people. I’ve had the good fortune to go along to some of them over the years and am always blown away by the stories I’m told about how friendships have blossomed through this club. Another thing I love about the club is that every month about ten local primary school children and one of their teachers come to help out, talk to the members, sing them songs when it’s someone’s birthday etc. This really breaks down barriers between young and old and helps to stop age-segregation and isolation. I love it!

    But since starting as a pilot project with 12 members and a monthly meal, the club has swelled to over 40 people who come regularly. The activities now include regular outings, entertainment evenings and a monthly film club. I remember helping the club to get that started and members weren’t sure whether or not it would take off. Five years later and it’s still going strong! Apparently Mama Mia was a big favourite!

    I don’t really have a point other than to say that the ideas you’re talking about really do help to bring people together on their own terms, doing activities that they want to do – people leading activities for themselves increases their value too. There’ll opportunities for that to happen in Brierley Hill Civic Hall, learning from and connecting the groups and communities we know are doing great things, building on those successes and bringing in business ideas too. It’s really exciting!

  6. Dear DCVS first of all may I congratulate every one that was involved In obtaining the contract to run events at the Civic Hall and say what a BRILLIANT MOVE it was.

    I would like to see the Civic MADE AVAILABLE to all of Dudley’s community forums at a small charge obliviously, only some of these forums are charged such high rates to run there forums by land lords
    it puts them in danger of folding.

    Bill

  7. I think if you could encourage local businesses to use the facilities more this would introduce a new funding stream in to the Civic Hall.

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