About the Wivenhoe Community Trust

From the Wivenhoe Community Association and Wivenhoe Engine Shed Trust to today's grant-making body

Peter Hill (founder Chairman)

The Wivenhoe Goods Shed with its entrance facing towards Colchester
Photo by Peter Hill
The internal platform onto which goods would have been transferred from wagons shunted into the building
Photo by Peter Hill
The St John Ambulance Hall in Chapel Road in 2014
Photo by Peter Hill

The Wivenhoe Community Trust is a registered charity which started as the Wivenhoe Community Association in 1985.  It was founded with the following objects:

The objective of the Wivenhoe Community Association is to (a) provide facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and leisure-time occupation with the object of improving the conditions of life for the inhabitants of Wivenhoe; (b) to establish or to secure the establishment of a community centre or other such community asset.

Initially, the committee of the Community Association focused its activities on running a social programme based on the William Loveless Hall. It later took on the responsibility of running the Wivenhoe Carnival for a time after the Carnival Association had folded.

It became the Wivenhoe Engine Shed Trust (WEST) in 1998

Later, in 1994, the Wivenhoe Facilities Group, comprising a number of councillors and organisations, proposed that the performing groups should look for a building in Wivenhoe that might be suitable for performances rather than asking the Town Council to close the William Loveless Hall for 10 days each time the Wivenhoe Players, Wivenhoe Pantomime Group or the Wivenhoe Gilbert & Sullivan Society wanted to put on a show.  We had a look initially at the barns at Cross Farm but they were considered not big enough before settling on the derelict building in Wivenhoe station car park, known as the old Engine Shed. To see pictures of the building as it was in 1990s – click here

A new committee was formed and, after some encouraging discussions with Network Rail, it was agreed that the Wivenhoe Community Association should become the Wivenhoe Engine Shed Trust (WEST) and with the same objects as those adopted in 1985.

This committee prepared a feasibility study and drew up plans to turn the building into The Old Engine Shed Theatre and set about gaining support for the project. This was early days for the Lottery Fund which looked a promising funding source for a large capital grant that was going to be necessary to restore the building and turn it into useful community building. When Lottery funding was rejected because the Arts Council decided to support the Firstsite project in Colchester and our project was considered too ambitious, the committee re-wrote the strategic papers in favour of a Cultural Arts Centre in the hope it would appeal to the Heritage Lottery. We might have got some money from them but not enough to make the project viable and so attempts to do something with this building ended.

In 2011 WEST changed its name to become the Wivenhoe Community Trust (WCT)

In 2011, WEST merged with the Old Chapel Trust to form the Wivenhoe Community Trust (WCT) to become the lead vehicle to try and acquire the St John Ambulance building in Chapel Road. This building had been empty for some time after the local branch of St John Ambulance folded and it was put up for sale by the St John organisation in London. The building had an interesting history.  It was built by the Wesleyan Methodists as a chapel in 1871 and used by them as such until 1901 when it became bought and later variously used as a parish hall by St Mary’s, a school, a workshop by Marjorie Dean Antiques, and a social centre until acquired by St John Ambulance Cadets who used it for meetings as well as hired it out for other community activities.  We lost our desire to turn it into a community-use building available to anyone for hire, and in 2014, it was demolished and turned into a potter’s workshop, art gallery and with an apartment above.

WCT from 2015 to 2023 as a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation)

Having failed to achieve anything with the old Goods Shed in the station yard and lost out to the person who had bought the St John Ambulance building before we could, in 2015, the remaining trustees of WCT determined they would use the funds for capital projects of community benefit in Wivenhoe.  These funds amounted to nearly £20,000.

In 2015, after long discussions with then Charity Commission, WCT became a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) with a new charity number, 1160666, but with the same objects as the WCA when that organsiation was established in 1985.

Various projects have been considered from 2015 through to 2023 when the fund was entirely spent. The trustees who were involved in these grant-making decisions were; Brian Sinclair (Chairman), Peter Hill (Deputy Chairman), Liz Taylor-Jones (Treasurer), Jacqueline Thomas, Peter Cook, Tim Sherwen, Christiane Sherwen, and Jan Sinclair.

The following grants were given during those 8 years;

–  £1,250 to Wivenhoe Congregational Church for repairs to the storage facility used by Wivenhoe Gilbert & Sullivan Society and 3rd Wivenhoe Brownies
–  £2,500 to Wivenhoe Gilbert & Sullivan Group for new lighting
–  £2,000 to Wivenhoe & District Sporting Facilities Trust for improvements at Broad Lane Sports Ground.
–  £500 to Moving Image towards the purchase of black-out curtains.
–  £500 to WivGigs
–  £600 to Printworks for a new printing press
–  £2,000 to Nottage Martime Institute towards their refurbishment project
–  £500 To Wivenhoe Allotment & Gardens towards the extension of their Trading Hut
–  £1,100 to the Wivenhoe Musical Theatre Group
–  £5,000 to kickstart the St Mary’s Church Transformation Project Appeal
–  £500 to the Wivenhoe Branch of the Royal British Legion towards the cost of new carpet tiles
–  £250 towards set up costs of Wivenhoe’s Moving Image’s Film Festival
–  £125 to WivGigs towards half the cost of a new trailer wheel
–  £250 to Moving Image towards the cost of a projector screen in the WL Hall
–  £500 towards the costs of producing a booklet about nature aimed at Under-7s.
–  £500 to the Wivenhoe branch of RBL towards the cost of refurbishing their upstairs room
–  £1,500 to St Mary’s Church for a new pathway at the side of the Annexe
–  £2,000 to the Wivenhoe Musical Theatre Group for upgrading stage lights to LED ones
–  £1,000 to Wivenhoe & District Sporting Facilities Trust towards improvement at Broad Lane Sports Ground
–  £1,000 to Wivenhoe Tennis Club towards new lighting at their tennis courts

A new chapter for WCT was proposed in 2023

In 2023, all of the money that had been raised and accumulated over its 30+ years of existence was spent and the remaining trustees (Brian Sinclair, Peter Hill, Liz Taylor-Jones, Peter Cook and Jan Sinclair) offered the registered charity to Wivenhoe Town Council as a potential community vehicle for public benefit so long as it conformed to its charitable objectives.


This page was added on 30/12/2017.

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