In 2013 Ilfracombe Town Council were offered the opportunity to purchase The Lantern, historically a Church, more recently owned by Devon County Council, when it was used as a centre for Devon’s Youth Service and as a community building until closing in 2012. After much deliberation and discussion and after consultation with the Ilfracombe community it was decided we would take it on.
The plans to reopen The Lantern began and thanks to the invaluable support, time, skills, effort and dedication of the fantastic Old Gits Club (a group of volunteers, mostly made up of retired, skilled tradespeople) the building has been updated, renovated, cleared and cleaned, made safe, repaired, redecorated and freshened up.
In November 2015, as part of Ilfracombes fabulous Lighting of the Lights evening, The Lantern opened its doors to the community for the first time in 3 years. A great event saw hundreds packed into The Great Hall, a fitting celebration of this wonderful building being used once again.
From that day the work continued and now The Great Hall, club room and meeting room are regularly used by individuals, clubs, businesses and community groups. The offices are now hired with 2 updated downstairs offices available from Jan 2018.
The Lantern preschool to return in time for new 2016 school year. The café now has new residents with the team at The Naked Cake.
The Lantern really has been and will continue to be a community project supported by the people of Ilfracombe, it’s a great pleasure to see it being used again.