Civic hall becomes Beacon for profitability

Vale leader Matt Barber

Vale leader Matt Barber

First published in News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

A COUNCIL has spent £11,000 to rebrand a community hall in an attempt to make it more profitable.

Vale of White Horse District Council spent the cash to rename Wantage Civic Hall as The Beacon.

It paid Faringdon marketing firm AWM Branding £11,000 to develop a new website and create photography, signs and posters to make the hall, which costs taxpayers £100,000 a year to run, pay its way.

The Beacon is now marketing itself as a venue for parties and weddings, running a monthly cinema and holding classes, which it hopes will bring in an extra £30,000 a year.

Even so, the council estimates it will take another five years before the hall breaks even.

Wantage Town and Vale councillor Jenny Hannaby said she was surprised the district council had spent so little.

She said: “If they wish to promote it, we must look at further refurbishment.

“The Vale is rolling in money, the new homes bonus could have been used to refurbish the toilets.

“I question why they haven’t purchased cinema equipment themselves and made a definite commitment to keep the cinema going.”

Vale leader Matt Barber said the rebranding was part of wider improvements, including putting in new lights and coffee machines.

He said: “That money deals with the PR side of things, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

“There is a programme to replace some of the lighting, we have changed some of the staffing and we are promoting more events.

“It is much more about changing the way we run the centre.”

  • Our top stories:

Cheney trust is choice to run new Barton Park Primary School

Oxford Mail: New Oxfordshire county council logo

6:10am Tuesday 21st April 2015

THE trust that will manage the primary school in the new Barton Park development was decided by councillors yesterday.

Tuberculosis victim accused of breaching Asbo by spitting inside medical centre

Oxford Mail:

5:30am Tuesday 21st April 2015

A HOMELESS man given an anti-social behaviour order for trying to spread tuberculosis (TB) has gone on trial in Oxford Crown Court.

Randolph Hotel: Damage runs to millions but we may re-open on Saturday

Oxford Mail:

8:08am Monday 20th April 2015

THE manager of Oxford’s Randolph Hotel has said the fire caused millions of pounds of damage.

Randolph Hotel: Flambe cooking thought to be cause of fire

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 20th April 2015

FIRE crews were expected to return the flame-stricken Randolph Hotel to management today after spending the weekend making the building safe.

UPDATE: Randolph Hotel: Beaumont Street reopens westbound

Oxford Mail:

3:05pm Monday 20th April 2015

BEAUMONT Street is set to partly reopen later today after engineers assessed damage to the Randolph Hotel following Friday’s fire.

Jury retires to consider verdict in Robert Dobinson murder trial

Oxford Mail:

3:21pm Monday 20th April 2015

THE jury has retired to consider its verdict in the trial of a woman who denies fatally stabbing her boyfriend in a drunken rage.

Update: Delays expected until midnight after signalling problems between Oxford and Charlbury

Oxford Mail: A First Great Western High Speed Train

11:03am Monday 20th April 2015

There are delays and cancellations on train services between Oxford and Charlbury due to signalling problems.

Oxford United striker Kemar Roofe celebrates double delight

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 20th April 2015

Kemar Roofe insists he does not know where his future lies after netting his second double in a fortnight to help Oxford United to a 3-0 win at Tranmere Rovers on Saturday.

Randolph Hotel: Blaze a 'damaging blow' to city's tourist trade

Oxford Mail:

8:03am Monday 20th April 2015

THE blaze has been described as a “damaging blow” to the city ahead of tourist season.

Harry's Grill kebab van to learn fate tonight after zero-food hygiene rating

Oxford Mail: oxford city council logo

8:00am Monday 20th April 2015

A CITY kebab van is to find out its fate today after being awarded a zero food hygiene rating.

Randolph Hotel: We still got married despite the fire

Oxford Mail:

7:59am Monday 20th April 2015

IT WAS a moment in the making for months, almost ruined by a single night.

Randolph Hotel: Crews expected to remain at the scene until this afternoon

Oxford Mail:

7:46am Monday 20th April 2015

A SMALL section of Beaumont Street remains closed this morning following Friday’s fire at the Randolph Hotel.

Classic car fans celebrate manufacturing heritage in Pride of Longbridge Rally

Oxford Mail:

7:42am Monday 20th April 2015

A CONVOY of more than 100 classic cars paraded through Oxford to show off the county’s manufacturing heritage.

Dance and music wows crowd at city’s colourful folk festival

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Monday 20th April 2015

A CELEBRATION of bright colours, energetic music and impressive dancing took hold of the city centre at this weekend’s Oxford Folk Festival.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree