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ROWHEDGE HERITAGE TRUST

Rowhedge Pump House – Public Meeting

Last Thursday, Rowhedge Heritage Trust hosted a well-attended public meeting at the Village Hall. This email is intended to summarise the outcomes of the meeting and next steps in the bid to preserve this important historic building for the community.

Rowhedge Pump House - some background

Rowhedge Heritage Trust has negotiated a three month option to purchase the Pump House on the Wharf Development. The Trust will need to make a commitment by 19 September this year. This historic building had been scheduled for demolition as a part of Hills Building Group's plan to expand their development on the Wharf.

The original structure was built in 1903, to pump water up to the now-listed water tower in Parkfield Street. The combination of the two created an independent water supply for Rowhedge. The Pump House is now the only historic building that remains in this part of the village, between the High Street and the new developments on the Wharf. 

Rowhedge Heritage Trust called a public meeting to gauge the level of support in the village for the Trust to purchase the Pump House for use as a Community Heritage Centre and to ask for help in achieving the project. 

Public Meeting

Eighty people packed the Village Hall which was full, with standing room only. Three ward councillors were in attendance to support the project: Mike Lilley, Lee Scordis and Adam Fox. We also had a message of support from Phil George, Chair of East Donyland Parish Council.

Lucy Bannatyne, Chair of the Heritage Trust; Keith Phillips, Trust Secretary; and Nick Baker, Trustee, gave a presentation covering the history of the building, its layout, the vision for its use as a community heritage centre, the current position with Hills and proposed next steps. Questions and views were encouraged. There were queries about the planning process, boundaries for the site, contamination, the risk of flooding, and street access. Others asked about how the Trust proposed to fund the scheme, the practical work involved in restoring the building and suggestions for its use by the community.

The audience was asked if they would indicate by a show of hands the level of support for Rowhedge Heritage Trust buying and operating the Pump House for the community. An overwhelming majority of those attending indicated their support for the scheme.

At the end of the meeting people were asked if they would like to be involved and could offer skills and knowledge to contribute to the project. A number of people gave their contact details, with significant offers of help with funding, publicity and practical building expertise.

Next steps

The Rowhedge Heritage Trust committee has set up a small working party to look into funding, planning and managing all the legal aspects of entering into a commitment to purchase the building by 19 September.

If you would like to find out more or offer to help with this project please speak to Keith Phillips on 07759 606802 or Lucy Bannatyne on 07979 985699.

Finally, if you know anyone else that would like to receive these email updates from the Trust, please email rht6734@gmail.com