I paid a visit to Meersbrook Hall this week, to speak with the Friends of Meersbrook Hall, and Andy Jackson from the Heeley Development Trust about their work to secure the future of the hall.
Used by the council from 1953 for the Parks and Countryside Department, Meersbrook Hall is now the home of Heeley Development Trust and currently used for classes including language, arts, local history, social media, IT and CV advice. The work they’re doing aims to tackle social isolation and low level mental health issues, and the group hopes to fully reopen the building to the public, rooting it in the community and utilising the asset for the sustainability of the local area.
Meersbrook Hall once housed the Ruskin Museum, is now working with the Guild of St. George, set up by John Ruskin in the 1870s, and would eventually like to display at least copies of his collections.
Locality is now calling for a £1bn community asset fund to save community assets like Meersbrook Hall. This initiative, endorsed by the Shadow Chancellor and former Communities Secretary Hazel Blears, would be a great opportunity to save the nation’s public assets and empower communities.