Derbyshire village venue in drive to find new users to beat pandemic
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Public relations consultant Louise Third MBE has been appointed to find sign commercial users for Dronfield Hall Barn during lockdown and beyond.
Owner Dronfield Heritage Trust has been awarded £10,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to pay for her work.
The building on High Street hosts weddings, exhibitions and culture and community events as well as a coffee shop. It opened in 2016 after a £1.3m revamp.
During lockdown it has been running a food and gift collection and delivery service.
Now Ms Third, who is from Holmesfield, will work with barn managers and current business partners to shape new plans. One idea is to invite workers to use it while travel and social distancing restrictions are in place.
She said was keen to hear from local business owners and managers.
She added: “I used to work in Sheffield and my family was well-established in the business communities of the city and north-east Derbyshire. So it is a privilege to be back working in a familiar part of the country.”
Alan Powell, chair of Dronfield Heritage Trust, said the barn needed to adapt in the face of Covid.
He added: “If the past few months have taught us anything, it is that we need to adapt and serve our community in different ways.
“During the Covid lockdown, we stayed active by putting many of our activities online and our home grocery delivery service proved vital to many Dronfield residents.
“We now we feel we can do even more to maximise our brilliant facilities and at the same time help the business community as they continue the process of recovery. Put simply, the more activity we can generate, the more sustainable The Barn becomes for the future.”
He added: “Louise has been a Friend of DHB for several years and brings strong commercial and creative expertise to this project. Back in 2004 she handled the press work when Sainsbury’s gifted the Barn and has followed our progress ever since.”
Dronfield Heritage Trust is a charity formed in 2007 to redevelop Dronfield Hall Barn.