Give your views on the way forward for Honiton's Beehive

The Beehive in Honiton

Honiton's community venue and town council HQ, The Beehive - Credit: Archant

Honiton residents are being urged to have their say on the future of the Beehive – in particular, whether it should remain a community venue. 

Four options are being considered by the town council, which owns the building.  

A public consultation is taking place at Mackarness Hall on Tuesday, July 26, from 10.30am until 7.30pm, with councillors on hand to answer questions, and the chance to complete a short questionnaire.

A decision could be made as early as September. 

The Beehive has been leased to Honiton Community Complex (HCC) since 2015, to operate it as a community venue. HCC did so successfully for seven years, but suffered the financial consequences of Covid and did not expect to cover its costs this year. In February HCC gave notice to end the lease. Not wanting to lose HCC as a tenant, the council agreed to underwrite HCC’s costs on a three-month rolling basis for a maximum of 12 months. Since this money comes from local taxpayers, the council wants to take residents’ views into account before making a decision. 

The possibilities are:

Option 1: The town council carries on supporting HCC until the end of the 10-year lease in September 2025, to make time for HCC to manage its financial performance back to full independence (with the town council’s £10K service charge) if possible.  

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Option 2: The Beehive is operated by a charity. It would still be used by the council and for community events. 

Option 3: The Beehive is owned by the council but leased, managed by and run as a commercial organisation – meaning its loss as council premises and as a community venue. 

Option 4: The Beehive is sold. It would be unlikely to be available as a community venue if this happens. 

People attending the consultation will receive the details and implications of all four options, and be asked to grade them in order of preference. They will be asked how they currently use the Beehive, and invited to suggest their own ideas for its future use. 

The council hopes to report the consultation results to its meeting of all councillors on Monday, August 8, and to make a decision on Monday, September 12.