Hawkhurst Community Partnership (HCP) is a not for profit, non political, voluntary organisation, with its own Constitution, comprising local volunteers and members of the Parish Council.
Thanks to the strong support of Hawkhurst Parish Council, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Kent County Council and Kent Rural Towns, HCP was successful in 2009 in raising around £200,000 in grants to support an agreed plan of economic development activities in and around Hawkhurst over the following three years.
This website is one of the funded activities of the Partnership with the aim of it becoming the central point of information for local residents, visitors and businesses alike.
Our other activities appear on our Partnership pages – see right. (Activities marked * are those which were SEEDA-funded through Kent Rural Towns.)
If you wish to know more about any of them or would like to become involved in the work of the Partnership, or just can offer something to a specific project please contact us as we would love to hear from you.
We would also love to hear from you if you have any ideas for a future project.
About the Partnership
As in most local areas, Hawkhurst’s regeneration projects are delivered by its Community Partnership. Formed in July 2008, The Hawkhurst Community Partnership evolved from previous functions of “Hawkhurst Happens”, the Hawkhurst Community Healthcheck.
The Market Towns Healthcheck for Hawkhurst was carried out in 2006 by a Steering Group made up of volunteers, including representatives from Hawkhurst Parish Council, and a part-time paid Co-ordinator. The Healthcheck was a “snapshot” community study which focussed on four specific aspects: Economy, Environment, Social & Community and Transport & Accessibility.
The object of the study was to consult with all sections of the community in order to identify any gaps in how Hawkhurst performs as a service-hub for itself and for its designated hinterland, made up of the villages of Sandhurst (Kent), as well as Bodiam, Hurst Green, Etchingham, Ticehurst and Flimwell in East Sussex. The Healthcheck was completed and published in 2008, together with an Action Plan which would seek to address the gaps in Hawkhurst’s performance, and assist in Hawkhurst’s regeneration.
The Action Plan enabled the Steering Group to bid for SEEDA-funding through Kent Rural Towns to deliver an agreed programme of projects . In July, 2008, several members of the Steering Group re-formed into Founder Members of The Hawkhurst Community Partnership, with its own Constitution, and with responsibility for completing the bidding for funding and for delivering the programme of projects. In 2010, together with two additional members, the Founder Members became Trustees. There are currently nine Trustees, including three Parish Councillors and one part-time paid Co-ordinator who is employed by Hawkhurst Parish Council and managed by the Partnership Trustees. The Partnership has a close working-relationship with Hawkhurst Parish Council which has also acted as its accountable body.
Any SEEDA-funding needed to be matched, and by April, 2009, the Partnership had raised the necessary matched-funding and was ready to deliver a 3-year programme of regeneration projects worth a total of £168,000 (subsequently increased to almost £200,000).
The 3-year programme of regeneration projects and events included:
The production and distribution of 50,000 copies of the Hawkhurst Heritage Trail leaflet over two years (2009), with the Hawkhurst Village Society.
The organisation with Kino Hawkhurst of “Flix & Pix” (June, 2009), Hawkhurst’s first Film and Arts Festival, with photographic competition and special exhibition. “Flix & Pix” will again take place in May, 2010.
Accommodation workshops – to assist existing or potential accommodation-providers to obtain official accreditation.
Business workshops – for existing and start-up businesses.
Refurbishment of the canopy of Hawkhurst’s iconic Colonnade.
“Beefing it Up” – a Celebration of Local Food and Local Produce to mark the Centenary of the OXO-Cube which was created by the Gunther family at their Tongswood Estate in Hawkhurst (now St. Ronans School), on 24th-25th July, 2010.
A new Business Networking Group which aims to meet monthly to support Hawkhurst area businesses.
“Ways & Means” (2011) – the creation of a Smugglers Trail to mark the existence of the famous Hawkhurst Gang; and a Classic Car Show with an emphasis on Rootes cars (the Rootes Group was founded by the Rootes Brothers in Hawkhurst).
A new website to serve and enhance Hawkhurst’s Community, Business and Visitor sectors, and to support the delivery of the above projects.In the main, these projects were delivered by bespoke Partnership Working Groups. These Working Groups were able to call upon outside specialist help as and when required, reporting on a regular basis to the Partnership Trustees who had ultimate responsibility for the delivery of all of the projects.
The Hawkhurst Community Partnership Minutes are available for inspection within the offices of Hawkhurst Parish Council during opening-hours (The Office at The Moor, Hawkhurst, Kent TN18 4NT).
The Hawkhurst Community Partnership is grateful to all of its funders and to the considerable input from its volunteers and Hawkhurst residents.
Minutes of HCP meetings
Most of The Hawkhurst Community Partnership’s projects have been delivered by working groups which update their progress to the main Partnership Board, which meets on a regular basis (normally at approximately 3-monthly intervals).
From May, 2010, the Partnership’s progress has been recorded within the Notes of its Working-Group Meetings, with the Chairman’s Report to the Partnership’s AGM posted on this website.
Notes of the Partnership’s Trustee and Working-Group Meetings are kept on file at the offices of Hawkhurst Parish Council (The Office at The Moor) and are available for inspection during the Council’s normal opening hours. Please check opening hours with the Parish Clerk (01580) 752058.