Chapel Street, Thornbury, BS35 2BJ
To book the Armstrong Hall, please phone 01454 412103 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm).
For the Armstrong Hall Supervisor, please phone 01454 412060.
For email enquiries:
Visit the Armstrong Hall web site
The Armstrong Arts Group (AAG) is a small group of volunteers that organises many of the events you will have enjoyed in the Armstrong and Cossham Halls, known as the Armstrong Complex. The group is continuing to raise money for the improvement of the complex, which Mrs Joan Hawkins started in May 2009, donating £1,000 to start off the fund and who organised the fund-raising concerts and events along with Daphne Ashton. Barbara Ray joined them in January 2010 and has been continuing their excellent work with other willing volunteers who have joined since.
The AAG has written, in strong terms, to the Armstrong Hall’s Charitable Trust about its decision to close the Armstrong Hall Complex for the foreseeable future. This has sadly involved making five redundancies. The letter presses the trustees to prioritise finding a solution to the current difficulties and to use whatever monies that can be found to make the hall safe and usable again for community groups.
The unexpected appearance of COVID-19 and its devastating consequences has meant that we have had to cancel the events due to take place since the end of March, for the foreseeable future. However please be reassured that the AAG is continuing to meet regularly and has a rolling programme in place, so that we are ready to go as soon as the Armstrong Hall opens for business.
It is keen to ensure that the Armstrong Hall Complex continues to fulfil its vital role in the life of the town and for the well-being of the community, as confirmed in the Council’s recent poll, which resulted in a clear preference that the complex must continue to be the community hall for the town.
From all at the AAG, “If we don’t use it – we’ll lose it”, so please help us keep this vital facility working.
It is with great regret that the Armstrong Hall Trust is announcing that they have taken the decision that they are unable to reopen the Armstrong Hall Complex in the near future.
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak the Armstrong Hall had to temporarily close for use in March 2020. As the Trust is a Charity, they immediately began to review their current financial position and that for the next 12 months.
Despite a significant grant from Thornbury Town Council and a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant from South Gloucestershire Council, there has been a severe negative financial impact on the bookings income and there is a lack of further options for external funding.
Even if allowed to operate again this year, some users had already advised the Hall that they did not plan to return for the foreseeable future due to vulnerable users or social distancing making their usual bookings impossible to take place. The Trust has also been advised that some of the redevelopment funding that was part of their plans has now closed and consequently costly and disruptive maintenance works will now need to be undertaken to the existing buildings. As such the Trust cannot anticipate a short term option where it can afford to run the business without incurring a significant deficit in funds, and as the Armstrong Hall is owned and run by a Charity, the Trust could not allow this to happen.
The Trust have therefore come to the conclusion that regretfully they cannot afford to reopen the Hall for the foreseeable future, and they cannot continue to employ the staff. Sadly, this has led to five redundancies, three of which are part time, with one job saved due to redeployment to the Town Council.
Jayne Stansfield, Chair of the Armstrong Hall Trust said: “Unfortunately the Trust could not have predicted this pandemic and have found ourselves in a difficult situation with limited options. The Trust would like to thank the Staff and our Customers for their commitment and loyalty and would like to express our deep regret with the route we have had no choice but to take.”
The Trust is currently contacting all affected hirers. The Trust has also formed a working group which is taking professional advice on its options for the way forward.
Clive Parkinson, Chair of the Trust’s redevelopment working group, said: “It is important for the future of Thornbury, that as the town grows it has the community facilities to enable it to thrive. The Armstrong Hall Trust will continue to investigate all possible options to create a venue that is suitable for the deserving community. We will continue with great effort; despite the hard and difficult climate we have all found ourselves in as a result of the pandemic.”
If you need somewhere in Thornbury to hold a meeting or event, the Armstrong Hall complex offers a wide range of facilities.
The original Cossham Hall was presented to Thornbury in 1888 and is suitable for small concerts, cinema screenings and meetings, with a capacity of 140, including 40 in a gallery.
The main Armstrong Hall seats around 350, and is readily adaptable for all types of functions, dances, discos, trade promotions and exhibitions.
It has a stage and dressing rooms, lighting and sound equipment, cinema screen and raised seating. There are also kitchen facilities, smaller meeting rooms and a licensed bar.
Large numbers of local groups and organisations use the complex on a regular basis, including Thornbury Picture House, the Women's Institute, Townswomen's Guild, Blood Donors, Horticultural Society, Flower Club, Weight Watchers, Camera Club, Northavon Youth Theatre and Eastwood Gardeners Club.
The complex is also the venue for part of the Thornbury Arts Festival and for productions by the Thornbury Amateur Dramatic Society and the Thornbury Musical Theatre Group.
If you would like to hire any part of the Armstrong Hall complex, see the Armstrong Hall web site for more details or contact office staff at the Town Hall.