Mid Sussex District Council looks to set-up a steering group on Clair Hall site plans

Mid Sussex District Council is proposing to create a Member Steering Group to oversee the delivery of new community facilities on the Clair Hall site in Haywards Heath.

As part of a public engagement exercise last year, the majority of residents expressed support for modernisation of the community facilities on the Clair Hall site. The Council then agreed to commission detailed, evidence-led work to examine all the options, in order to deliver modern, future proof community facilities on the site.

Cabinet will meet on 14 February to discuss the creation of a new Member Steering Group. The aim of the Clair Hall steering group will be to provide oversight and guidance as detailed options are investigated further. The group will also provide the opportunity for Cllr Mike Pulfer, Leader of Haywards Heath Town Council to be involved in supporting and influencing the work.

Mid Sussex District Council has significant experience in managing complex projects and attracting investment, both public and private, to support the development of the district. The group, which is expected to start work in March, will draw on this experience as it works alongside a specialist advisor.

The development of options will be led by an external specialist advisor with experience in the arts, culture and leisure sector. Using their expertise, they will co-ordinate market research, engagement and analysis to develop proposals for review by the Member Steering Group.

Key stages of the work are outlined in the Cabinet report show an Interim Report going to Cabinet around the summer, with a Final Report following once further work, including stakeholder engagement has taken place.

Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council said:

“Our recent public engagement showed that the vast majority of people in Haywards Heath would like to see improvements made to the community facilities on offer at the Clair Hall site. Opinions on what form those improvements should take varied widely, so we must consider all the available options in order to develop a proposal that meets the needs of the whole community.

“With a complex economic environment following the pandemic, the creation of a Member Steering Group will enable us to take a considered approach that ensures our decisions will stand the test of time and be of benefit to the community long into the future.

“The improvement of community facilities at the Clair Hall site is a key priority for the Council. However, public health remains the priority. Clair Hall is currently being used as a vaccination centre and we will continue to make the venue available for NHS use for as long as they need it”.