RESTORING PIPPBROOK HOUSE FOR COMMUNITY USE
CHiP is a Community Interest Company that passionately believes that Pippbrook House should be retained in public hands for the enjoyment of future generations.
After some years of campaigning and development proposals from CHiP, and following Mole Valley District Council's Scrutiny Committee meeting of 15th Sept 2020, MVDC's Cabinet arrived at a final decision on the evening of 16th Sept 2020 to PROCEED with granting a long-term lease contract for Pippbrook House to CHiP and its development and operations partner, RJK.
Built between 1856 and 1858, Pippbrook House in Dorking was designed by the distinguished architect George Gilbert Scott. With its richly decorated interior and painted ceilings, Pippbrook House is now a Grade II* listed building, a distinction that English Heritage bestows on only a very small proportion of listed properties.
Our aim is to see this fabulous heritage asset not only restored to its former glory but put back in use for the benefit of the community.
(by Horizon Imaging Ltd)
March 2021: PROGRESS
Lockdown has inevitably delayed progress, but we continue to work with MVDC to agree the details of the lease and implications of restoring the Grade II* listed interior.
We will be requiring a restoration survey to fully understand the sequence of works needed to begin to open Pippbrook House, so that we are able to balance the needs of opening the house for use with the needs of historic restoration guidelines.
September 2020: FINAL HURDLE
Following the unfortunate hiatus caused by Covid-19, we began re-engaging with MVDC officers in July and August. We have presented our plans to the relevant Cabinet group, and our detailed proposal has finally been recommended to for approval; and we have now been given a final decision date by the Cabinet of 16th Sept.
With a fair wind, this will hopefully see CHiP and its partner RJK sign the long-term lease contract for Pippbrook House in early 2021, with Phase 1 of commercial opening later in the year.
September 2020: GREAT NEWS!
Following the MVDC Scrutiny Committee meeting, the council's Cabinet arrived at a final decision on the evening of 16th Sept to PROCEED WITH granting a long-term lease contract for Pippbrook House to CHiP and its development and operations partner, RJK.
This will hopefully see us sign the long-term lease contract for Pippbrook House in early 2021, with Phase 1 of commercial opening later in 2021.
Since June 2019 we continued to make great progress with MVDC and RJK to discuss, plan and negotiate the most appropriate business terms for Pippbrook House.
Covid-19 has created a hiatus, and understandably, MVDC has more pressing matters to attend to. CHiP continues to be confident about developing and opening the house as a community hub.
We will keep everyone up to date over the coming months.
WE'RE A COMMUNITY INTEREST COMPANY WITH A PLAN
We use business solutions to achieve public good
CHiP CIC is a community interest company for Mole Valley, set up to organise and raise funds to acquire Pippbrook House and to make possible its running for use by the local community.
There is a proven local enthusiasm for the potential uses of the house and confidence in the potential to make this community-focused project financially viable and sustainable.
PIPPFEST & PIPPBROOK HOUSE
We held the 5th PippFest in 2019 and over 2,000 attendees demonstrated the local level of love and support for Pippbrook House.
We want to socialise the idea of using Pippbrook House to encourage and incubate entrepreneurs in our community – a hub that brings people together to interact with local businesses, artists, wellbeing practitioners – and to learn from each other…
A REAL LOCAL NEED
The ONS Annual Population Survey indicates that the numbers of self employed (i.e. not employees) had risen from 6,300 to 8,700 in 2015-16. Our District has substantially higher rates of self employment (as a % of total employment) than the national average; 16.3% compared with 10.2%.*
Pippbrook House can be used by our local self-employed community as a place to work, network and hold meetings, as well as to find opportunities to learn new skills and participate in leisure and wellbeing activities.
*Source: MVDC Economic Development Needs Assessment
CREATING A COMMUNITY SPACE
The MVDC Economic Development Needs Assessment concludes that there is an opportunity to encourage local startups and support for the self-employed in the area.
More than simply a retail and leisure facility, Dorking needs a hub that encourages entrepreneurism, start-ups and local networking:
Local therapists and healthcare practitioners need professional, affordable and flexible therapy spaces.
Affordable, flexible co-working spaces and meeting rooms.
Arts and Performing Arts Spaces.
Training, Coaching and Educational Spaces.
PRECEDENTS FOR SUCCESS
We propose a ‘tried and tested’ model for the project; a blend of commercial community workspaces and facilities successfully employed by:
The Royal Academy
A VISION FOR THE COMMUNITY
Despite the development limitations of a Grade II* Listed building, we passionately believe we can create a site of great commercial and community value.
We take our inspiration from The Keeper's House at the Royal Academy, The Hospital Club and The Ned in London – amazing venues for specific communities of people in buildings of architectural value.
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