Reg Charity No: 301343

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In 1949 local farming land owners came together and donated a parcel of land to the community to be held in Trust for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Parish of Highwood in Chelmsford Essex.
for the purposes of physical and mental training and recreation and social, moral and intellectual development…….. without the distinction of sex, or political, religious or other opinions.’   Taken from the Trust’s Constitution).

The Trust is a registered charity no. 301343 and the Highwood Village Hall Committee manage the Trust.

The original Highwood Village Hall was constructed circa 1950, prior to this it was an army hut.

It was a successful entity for over 50 years and served the community well, but by the year 2000, despite a regular maintenance regime, there were significant problems with the fabric of the building. In April 2001 the Trustees were forced to close the hall after an electrical inspection showed it could no longer be safely used.

The Committee tried to secure funding to repair the existing hall, but were rejected on the basis that the building was approaching the end of its life and such expenditure could not be justified in terms of value for money.  A structural engineer’s report was commissioned in July 2004 and concluded it is our opinion that it would be beneficial if any monies proposed for this work would be more beneficially used in the procurement of a new structure”. 

Photograph of the original Village Hall.

Since this date the aim of the Highwood Village Hall Committee has been to build Highwood its new Village Hall.

The new Village Hall has been long-awaited for by the residents of Highwood. Since 2004, the local community, led by Highwood Village Hall Committee, have mobilised a plan of action to raise funds to build a new village hall.

By breaking the project into milestones, funding was raised to have the old hall demolished, architect plans submitted and approved, professional feasibility and project development studies commissioned and the construction put out to tender. 

Construction on site started late August 2010 and the new Highwood Village Hall was declared open by Graham Gooch OBE DL on the 16th July 2011.

The Grand Opening was supported by Lord Petre, Rt. Hon Sir Alan Haselhurst MP, Cllr Rodney Bass, Chairman of Essex County Council, The Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Chelmsford Borough Council, representatives from key grant providers / financial sponsors and over 300 supporters from the local community. There were speeches by the Chairman of Highwood Parish Council, David Cameron, Graham Gooch and Kate Millner art teacher from Highwood Primary School who together with the children, parents and staff, made an inspirational artwork for the new Hall spelling out the word 'Highwood' and illustrating the hope that this much needed community facility would promote inclusiveness, opportunity and hope for Highwood. 

The Village Hall Committee could not have come this far without the support of Highwood’s residents, our grant funding partners, professional bodies and friends.

The picture at the top of this page shows residents supporting the project. Sadly some of them are no longer with us, but their commitment, enthusiasm and support has encouraged us with added perseverance to ensure this project finally comes to fruition.

Thank you all.

Highwood Parish Council & Residents - Grant

Essex County Council – Community Initiatives Fund

Essex Environment Trust

Low Carbon Buildings Programme

Community Sustainable Energy Programme

Maztec Ltd The V Festival

Augustine Courtauld Award

The Big Lottery - Community Buildings Fund

Essex Community Foundation / Essex County Council  – Essex Millennium Fund

EDF Energy Green Fund

Chelmsford Borough Council - Grant Aid

Charles S French Charitable Trust

Essex County Council Making The Links

The Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation

Tom Amos Charity


Garfield Weston Foundation

Walter Farthing Trust





Donations in Memoriam
*Betty Carr
*Eve Goddard

Key Financial Donations received *Graeme Blaik *Firstead Properties (Ray Bone & Pravin Ghumaria)

Material Donations
*Oddy Fencing *Highwood Parish Council, *Amaryllis Environmental Services

Professional Service Donations * Edmund Carr LLP

In November 2011 the Village Hall Committee were delighted to receive a Certificate of Merit from grant provider "Essex Environment Trust" for "one of the best projects ever built in Essex with the Trust's assistance".