The Working Group set up by Chepstow Town Council to find out what residents would like to see happen with regard to activities at the Drill Hall have been overwhelmed by the response from the local community.

Project coordinator, Gareth Kiddie, said ‘We had a target of 500 responses, but over 1,000 people completed our survey.

‘‘It’s great to know that people locally really do care about what happens to the Drill Hall going forward.’

Representing Chepstow Town Council, Cllr. Tom Kirton, Town Mayor said, ‘On behalf of the council I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to all those people that took time out to complete our survey.

‘‘If the Drill Hall is to be retained as an asset for the community we need to be sure that it’s both wanted and well used.

‘‘The fantastic response is a testament to just how much the Drill Hall is treasured by local people.’

One of the other main priorities that was identified by the Working Group, was to engage with young people, and find out more about what they would like to see in terms of activities and events at the Drill Hall.

A project was therefore initiated to consult with pupils at Chepstow School.

Dan Harris, Humanities Curriculum Leader at the school said: ‘Gareth came to us just before Christmas with the idea of consulting young people, and we were delighted to help out.

‘‘A group of six Year 11 students devised their own survey to find out what their fellow pupils like to do in their spare time, and then promoted throughout the school.

‘‘We’ve had nearly 200 responses already.’

A full report on the findings of the Community Survey is available to download from Chepstow Town Council’s website.

The evidence the report contains, together with the results of the consultations with young people, will be used as the basis for developing a new vision and business strategy for the Hall, and plans are underway to hold a ‘Community Visioning Workshop’ that will help to further engage representatives from local community organisations, businesses and public bodies.

Gareth explained: ‘We are delighted at the response we’ve received from our consultations to date, but we recognise too that we will need to reach out and engage with all those people and organisations that can help shape our plans going forward.

‘‘The workshop will take place at the Drill Hall, 10.30-12.30, Wednesday May 18 and we will be issuing invitations soon.

‘‘We would like to hear from anyone that might be interested in attending.’

Further details about the Drill Hall project and community visioning event are available from the Project Coordinator, Gareth Kiddie, via email: [email protected]