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HONITON: Beehive handover tomorrow

Thursday, 13 March 2014

The keys for Honiton’s new community centre will finally be handed over to the town council this week, after years of planning and organisation.
Councillors and community representatives will mark the occasion with a special opening ceremony tomorrow (Wednesday), during which the ribbon will be cut and guided tours of the complex will be given.
The project has been in the pipeline for more than 20 years and Honiton Town Council has been working with the directors of the Beehive Company and volunteers through the Friends of the Beehive charity to see the construction of the building through to its completion.
Disagreement over how the centre should be run has caused controversy over the years, and particularly in recent weeks as councillors clashed over whether the Beehive Company should apply for charity status.
But Mayor of Honiton, Councillor David Foster, praised the “dedication and tenacity” of all those involved with the project.
He said: “This is a major milestone for the Beehive – the biggest project the town council has ever undertaken.
“Twenty years of hard work by both members of the public and long-serving councillors has made it happen. It is because of their dedication and tenacity that we are where we are today.
“This is a fantastic new facility for the community and I am really excited that we can finally cut the ribbon.”
The opening ceremony will be marked by the cutting of the ribbon by Councillor Foster and Councillor Vernon Whitlock, the chairman of directors of the Beehive Company.
And teachers and children from the town’s schools will also be in attendance to plant a tree in recognition of the project’s completion.
Councillor Vivienne Ash, a Beehive Company director, who will also be involved in the opening ceremony, said: “It will be a wonderful day for Honiton. The centre is a lovely building that will give so many opportunities to people in the town and the surrounding area.
“I am honoured to be taking part in the opening ceremony and I would also like to pay tribute to my colleagues who have put so much into it.
“A lot goes on behind the scenes that people do not realise and people have given up a lot of their time.
“The town council was very brave in taking the decision and I hope when everybody sees it they will agree it was worth the time and effort.”
The development consists of a two-storey building with a central hall capable of seating 300 people, which also offers a non-fixed stage area to be used for various activities.
The Beehive also features a number of rooms that can be used as changing room facilities or small meeting rooms, as well as a café/bar area that will be able to support performances.
The Beehive will be open to the public in early April and a number of concerts and events have been lined up to celebrate the opening. For a full list of events visit


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