Back in 2011 when Midsomer Norton Town Council was formed there was a realisation that to survive the community buildings needed to offer much more in terms of events and activities in order to develop an audience and an associated income. The Town Council backed this process by funding the creation of a new limited liability organisation with a full time manager. The Midsomer Norton Community Trust was born on the 24th June 2013 (incorporated on the 10th July 2013) and has since grown into a community engine room for the town.Click here for details of our current Trustees and Staff
The Trust oversees day to day management of three community buildings within the town – the Town Hall, Unit 14 and the Orchard Hall. As such it provides homes for a vast range of community activities. The Town Council has acquired these buildings from B&NES under Asset Transfer and the Trust aims to secure its own leases from the Midsomer Norton Town Trust.
As well as having anchor tenants it also provides a range of spaces that are home or available on an ad-hoc basis for approximately 100 of the town’s community groups – from keep fit to arts and crafts, family activities to health and wellbeing workshops, prayer groups to yoga.
The Trust is constantly working alongside the buildings’ current tenants to improve the facilities. For example the installation of the surround sound system and fully digital projection system for the Community Cinema at the Town Hall, applying to the British Film Institute for new cinema chairs, the acquisition of professional PA and lighting systems and the building of the fully licensed Sarah Ann Bar. Meanwhile over at the Orchard Hall work has just been completed on a complete refurbishment of the kitchen to vastly improve the user experience as well as providing exciting new opportunities to the community.Click here for details of our Community Spaces
The Community Trust is involved in the organisation of over 100 Community events a year – including community cinema, National Theatre Live, public debates and consultations, markets and a range of live music concerts – including folk, jazz, opera and classical. These have provided opportunities for members of the community that weren’t previously available, with around 5000 visits per year to the Community Cinema alone.
The Trust has also organised a number of major town events – establishing the popular Midsomer Arts Festival and Pride in June, Wassailing and Midsomer Norton Fayre and M-Fest music festival in July and the Christmas event in December.
We have also been instrumental in supporting the return of the Midsomer Norton & District Carnival to the town centre since 2015 which brings an estimated 8,000 people to the town on the second Monday in November each year as well as raising thousands of pounds of local charities and good causes.
Combined, these events helped create a real sense of civic pride and community and at the same time have supported the High Street economy.
With the exception of the role of Trust Manager – everything that happens is down to volunteers whether it’s serving drinks in the Sarah Ann Bar or locking up every night. So why do people give their time? Talking to many of those who join in at the Town Hall in particular it seems to be all about being part of a community – a sense of belonging and there never being a dull moment.
If you are interested in volunteering with the Midsomer Norton Community Trust, ring 01761 419133.