The District Council has committed to developing a business case and options for the inclusion of modern community facilities as part of the regeneration of key sites in Haywards Heath.
Social distancing and Covid-secure rules for buildings mean that Clair Hall cannot reopen and operate viably or safely accommodate many of the groups who used it before lockdown.
Clair Hall has been part of Haywards Heath for 50 years and many residents will be able to recall its heyday. Many people would also acknowledge that Clair Hall has not been fit for purpose or fully meeting the needs of the community for some time.
Before lockdown, it stood empty around half of the available time and most of its uses were not for theatre or performances but for small meetings and classes. Following the switch to online meetings, some users have said they no longer need it or are using alternative venues.
As a result, now is a good opportunity to look to the future and plan for new, modern community facilities that could meet the needs of Haywards Heath and the surrounding area for the years to come.
The Council will work with user groups to assist them in accessing alternative locations in the short term if Covid-secure rules allow their activity to happen. There will be a public consultation on a new Haywards Heath town centre masterplan later this year.