Polegate Community Association was founded in 1961 by some enthusiastic local people and they dedicated their first few years to the leasing of a piece of land and the raising of necessary funds to build the first Community Centre. The constitution states our aims as follows: –
to provide facilities in the interest of social welfare for recreation and leisure-time occupation with the object of improving the condition of life for the said inhabitants.
Since it’s opening in 1969 as a much smaller building, three major extensions have added several rooms, to produce the spacious Centre that exist today. We now have 1 large hall seating over 200 people for plays and concerts, 2 smaller meeting rooms used for up to 80 people depending on the activity involved and 2 commitee sized rooms together with kitchens, toilets and office space. There is also a private club, The Windsor Club, which rents a bar and kitchen area.
We are a registered charity (no.305293) serving the residents of Polegate (pop. 8000 at present but continuing to expand) and also the surrounding areas. We own and maintain the Centre, which is now a freehold site, and are an independent organisation being totally financed by membership fees, rentals received from letting out our rooms and our own fund-raising. No regular money is received from any outside body although grants are applied for on occasions for specific purposes. in 2005 we opened a separate building for storage purposes and during the Easter break this year we have completely modernised the ladies toilets and done some updating in the mens.
Four committees all composed of volunteers and elected at the AGM, run the Centre. The Council is composed of representatives from all groups using the Centre and has overall control. The Executive Committee is a smaller group which supervises the day-to-day management. The Finance Committee budgets for the annual running costs and advises on major expenditure. The Centre Maintenance Committee organises a 5-year rolling programme of maintenance and oversees any major work, checking that it is completed to the specified standard. Currently our annual day-to-day running costs amount to about £75,000 per annum.
We are a vital part of the town and the Centre provides a base for community activities. More than 50 local groups meet here and in excess of 2000 people of all ages from “Parents and Toddlers” to ” Senior Citizens” use the Centre in any typical week. There is no other comparable provision in the area and our rooms are frequently booked for children’s parties and other family celebrations.