How will the project be delivered?

Our experience in developing Burgess Hill Shed, has shown us that sensible action with community participation can achieve a great deal and we believe that this philosophy can be applied in the same way to create an open community space.

We want the Kiln to be owned by the community and we want stakeholders to be engaged throughout delivery.  We want the Kiln to be an affordable place for users and based on a high level of voluntary contribution because we firmly believe that the more we put into our community the stronger and better it will become.

To accomplish The Kiln we will undertake the project in two parallel parts.  The first will set up, run and develop the Kiln in temporary premises in the Town Centre.  This part will in effect prove the project concept.  The second will set up a Charitable Community Benefit Society to be owned by members of the community.  The Society will raise funds through the community, donations and grants to enable it to either buy or build suitable permanent premises to be owned and run entirely by the community with protection covenants to safeguard ownership and prevent exploitation.

When is the KILN open?

The Kiln opened for refurbishment work at the beginning of September 2020 and has been used for several events. Initially, refurbishment work will take priority and there will be limitations on opening times and range of activities available.  The aim is to have most areas of interest covered within 6 months.

If you would like to use the KILN spaces for your group or would like to become a member or volunteer, the Kiln is currently open every Thursday between 0930 and 1530hr when our members will be able to explain the project, show you the premises and discuss our plans.

The Kiln shop is also open every Thursday selling products made by members of Burgess Hill Shed.

Alternatively, please contact us on the contact page.

Why do we need a community centre for these activities?

Whilst there is increasing awareness that health and well-being are improved through meaningful activities in social environments, there are unfortunately fewer local affordable facilities for social services and well-being, leisure and community pursuits in the South Mid Sussex district.  Community interest groups and local charities delivering adult social services are frequently forced to use temporary premises, and are often displaced at short notice and forced to relocate.  This leads to significant disruption, anxiety and stress, and impacts significantly on their performance and the wellbeing of their clients and members.   In addition, there is a lack of opportunity for younger people to engage in extracurricular creative and practical activities which would help their education and enhance their careers.

As we emerge from one of the most significant health and cultural disasters in our time, more than ever we need to rebuild the fabric of our community and give everyone the best opportunity to move forward in the face of significant challenges.  We must help the youngest who have and are likely to suffer greatly through a significant gap in their learning; we must help young people through their education by providing access to extracurricular activity and help them towards meaningful careers; we must help the unemployed and those needing to reposition their lives and prospects; and we must help people suffering mental and physical illness resulting from this terrible experience.

We know that our Government and Local Authorities will have many priorities that will demand attention and will probably prevent the kinds of action we need in our community now.  It therefore seems sensible for the community to work together to solve these problems ourselves rather than rely on others.

We are therefore proposing that we all work together to create The Kiln which will be established by the community, owned by the community and run by the community.

Why is it called ‘THE KILN?

The Kiln connects the project to our local heritage of clay-works, brickmaking and ceramics.  Kilns are places of fusion in the context of artisanship and craftwork, and places of great creativity and endeavour.  To us therefore, The Kiln symbolises the value and benefits to our lives in learning, creating and making things in the real world.

How would you describe THE KILN?

The Kiln will be an adaptable workspace for use by community groups.  It will be a place where inspirational and resourceful people in our community can come, share and work together with synergy and vigor to deliver benefits for themselves and others in our community.

Initially it will be divided into five community interest spaces with access to common facilities and resources:

Arts, Crafts and Heritage: promoting arts and crafts in the spirit of our living heritage

BH-Shed: an existing successful venture that promotes wellbeing through purposeful activity, friendship and camaraderie

Health and Wellbeing Connections: connecting people to health and wellbeing resources

MakerSpace: promoting creativity and advancing the spirit of innovation and enterprise

STEM Centre: promoting hands-on science, technology, engineering, and maths for the young to enhance problem-solving skills and inspire the makers of tomorrow

What can I do at THE KILN?

As a member, you will be able to undertake your own projects, work with others on group projects or work on community projects. You will be able to join hands-on arts and crafts activities and learning sessions. You will be able to use shared tools, equipment and materials.

As a volunteer you can help with day to day operations at the Kiln, including reception, information and guidance, providing hands-on and learning sessions, co-ordinating group and community projects, carrying out general admin and management tasks.

What is THE KILN Project?

The Kiln Project will create a community centre with a strong focus on Arts, Crafts and the Maker movement to provide great opportunities and inspiration for people to enjoy and learn from practical and meaningful activity.  This will include activities for all ages including those in education, beginning their careers, in work and retired. It will also provide community groups with access to space and resources to promote health and well-being and collaborate on projects of benefit to the community.