Sussex Life - - Front Page -

As gen­eral man­ager of Hail­sham Pavil­ion since 2005, Paul Nun­ney knows a thing or two about the lo­cal area. “It has that great small town feel where ev­ery­one knows ev­ery­one,” he says.

The Pavil­ion is a Grade II Listed 1920s build­ing that acts a fo­cal point for the com­mu­nity. “We’re a reg­is­tered char­ity and a the­atre and cinema,” Paul says. “We run our own pro­gramme of events, such as cinema screen­ings, and live satel­lite broad­casts from the Royal Opera House, the Na­tional The­atre and other pres­ti­gious venues.” The Pavil­ion also holds mu­sic, the­atre and dance events through­out the year, so it’s no sur­prise that it’s a reg­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for the lo­cals.

The Pavil­ion’s fu­ture was once un­der threat. Dur­ing the 1960s the orig­i­nal cinema was closed, and for a brief pe­riod the build­ing acted as a bingo hall. It then fell into a state of ne­glect un­til the 1990s, when the mayor at the time, June Bourne, de­cided that some­thing needed to be done. The lo­cal peo­ple ral­lied to­gether, and along with the help of or­gan­i­sa­tions such as the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund, enough money was raised to re­store the Pavil­ion back to its for­mer glory.

This seems to be a prime ex­am­ple of Hail­sham’s fan­tas­tic com­mu­nity spirit, and to­day its suc­cess still rests on the hard work of lo­cal res­i­dents. “We work very closely with schools and clubs, and we are staffed by a ded­i­cated team of vol­un­teers,” says Paul.

“They are fab­u­lous.”

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