Booking Terms and Conditions


The Downton Memorial Centre, a registered charity, is run and maintained by a Committee of Trustees for the benefit of the residents of Downton and its locality.

Each use of The Downton Memorial Centre is to be represented by an Applicant who makes the Application for a Booking.

All Applicants are required to read, accept and adhere to the Booking Terms and Conditions as set down in this Hire Agreement.

Applicants for use of The Downton Memorial Centre must be over 18 years of age and, if unknown to the Committee, may be required to establish their bona fides.

Applications for the use of the rooms must be approved by the Booking Secretary or the Committee, where relevant, before the Application becomes a firm booking.  If the Application is agreed, the Applicant, now the Hirer, enters into a formal Hire Agreement with the Committee.


The Trustees are authorised, and have a duty, to close The Downton Memorial Centre and terminate an event if they have reason to believe that either the Law or the Conditions, as outlined below, of the Application have been or are being broken.

Fire Safety and Evacuation Plan

Hirer’s Responsibilities

The Hirer or Tenant is responsible for ensuring the maximum numbers on the application for hire agreement are not exceeded. Capacity for the Hall: 100 seated, 150 standing. Bonvalot Room: 56 seated and Centenary Room 40 seated.

Fire or appliances with naked flames are not permitted in or on any property subject to the Hire or Lease Agreement without the prior written consent of The Downton Memorial Centre Trustees. The Hirer or Tenant will comply with all conditions attached to such consent.

No alterations or additions may be made to the lighting or power arrangements existing at the time of hire without the written consent of The Downton Memorial Centre Trustees. The Hirer or Tenant will comply with all conditions attached to such consent.

The Hirer or Tenant is responsible for ensuring that no exits or Fire Exits from or within the facilities are blocked inside or outside and that no chairs or obstacles are placed in the corridors, walkways or access areas leading to emergency exits and that fire appliances are not removed or tampered with.

All Hirers and Tenants are required to be familiar with the emergency evacuation procedure for the building (see below and Fire Action Notices) – and conduct regular drills when requested.

All Hirers and Tenants are required to have their own up to date risk assessments covering their group and its activities; these to be produced on request.

All Hirers and Tenants must have a responsible person appointed in charge of evacuation and the health and safety of its activities whilst on site.

In the event of a fire alarm being raised the Hirer or Tenant is responsible for ensuring safe and immediate evacuation of their group or activity.

Furniture and Furnishings – No furniture or furnishings may be brought into the facility either temporarily or permanent without prior written permission by The Downton Memorial Centre Trustees. Permission will only be considered where current Fire Regulations can be met.

Electrical Appliances – must not be brought into the facility by the Hirer or the Tenant or any person on the Hirers or Tenants behalf either temporarily or permanently without prior written permission of The Downton Memorial Centre Trustees and all appliances must have a current portable appliance certificate. (PAT). Any items with a naked flame are prohibited.

Hirers and Tenants must comply with all current Health & Safety legislation.

Safety Instructions

At all times these premises are occupied, all Fire Exit doors must be available for use in an emergency and any doors locked with a supplied key must be unlocked.

Doors marked Fire Doors Keep Shut must not be propped open.

If the kitchen is used to cook food, all doors and hatches leading to the kitchen must be kept closed during cooking times.

The person in charge (Hirer, Tenant or appointed Responsible Person) must make themselves familiar with the fire instruction on the site, and they must ensure that any volunteers, paid workers or activity or service users are made aware of the instructions.

In the event of a fire or similar emergency situation, the person in charge and their staff must ensure that the building is immediately and safely evacuated and that the emergency services have been called.

All persons who are unfamiliar with the building should look around to check the whereabouts of Fire Exits from the building, the fire extinguishers and fire alarm call points.

When tables etc., are laid out in rooms consideration must be given to the provision of gangways between the rows which must be of sufficient width to allow access to disabled persons and wheelchairs, and especially egress in an emergency.

All Fire Exits must be kept clear at all times during the hiring.

Fire Extinguishers must not be used to prop open doors.

Please contact us immediately, on one of the emergency numbers:

07875 036879
07760 415818
07762 218409
07711 651682

when due to circumstances outside the control of the hirer:

  • any fire door is unable to be opened in an emergency.
  • any Fire Exits / or escape routes are not clear.

Upon Discovering a Fire – Raise the Alarm

This is normally done by breaking the glass on a fire alarm call point. Otherwise use any means available (this should be agreed at the commencement of any event)

Call the Fire & Rescue Service – Dial 999 using a mobile phone or ask a local resident.

On Hearing the Alarm – When you hear the alarm, leave the building as quickly as possible, using the nearest Fire Exit route. Do not run. Do not use mobile phones while evacuating.

The Fire Assembly Point for The Downton Memorial Centre (including the Hall) is in the children’s playground area of the adjacent Downton Memorial Gardens.

Note: Take personal belongings only if they are immediately available

Fire extinguishers are situated at each exit and should be used to maintain and / or clear the escape route if required.

Where there are controlled access doors, if the door interlocks fail you must use the green break glass panels next to the doors to release the lock.

Disabled and Less Able-Bodied People

Should be given every assistance during the evacuation procedure to exit the building to the fire assembly point or to the designated safe refuge point. Evacuation sleds are situated by the lift on the first floor and by the stage next to the fire exit doors.

Safety Is Everyone’s Responsibility

It is essential that all individuals familiarise themselves with the fire escape routes and location of the Fire Assembly Point when using these facilities.


On hearing the alarm, contractors working on site must immediately stop work and follow the Fire Evacuation Procedures.


Leave the building by the nearest exit – do not run, do not use mobile phones and do not use the lift. Keep calm

Take personal belongings only if they are immediately available.

Assemble at the Fire Assembly Point and remain in your group.

Do not re-enter the building until authorised by a Fire & Rescue Service Officer.

Fire Marshals

The Downton Memorial Centre is not staffed full time and there will be periods when staff will not be on site, however if staff trained as Fire Marshals are on site they will act as fire marshals and will be identified by a fluorescent yellow jacket with Fire Marshal printed on back.

First aid

First aid kits are not provided for general use. Hirers and Tenants should ensure that they have their own available and that it’s use forms part of their risk assessment in line with the conditions of hire or lease.


The Downton Memorial Centre (including the Hall) is a no smoking and Vape-free facility

Trustees with designated fire safety responsibilities

Jeremy Parsons:

  • Weekly check of fire detection and alarm system, including call points;
  • Monthly emergency lighting tests.
  • Monthly check of evacuation sleds;
  • Monthly Fire extinguisher/blanket check;
  • Monthly check of external escape doors;
  • Monthly check of internal fire doors.

Susan Barnhurst-Davies: Overall responsibility, as Chair of The Downton Memorial Centre, to ensure that the above checks are carried out.

Emergency contact numbers

Call Out:

between 9am and 4.30pm:

Jeremy Parsons                 07762 218409

Hilary Mace                         07760 415818

out of hours:

Susan Barnhurst-Davies   07875 036879

Dave Mace                           07711 651682

Contacting/liaising with the emergency services:

The Fire Alarm is not monitored. The Hirer/Tenant has the responsibility of contacting and liaising with the emergency services in event of emergency.

Fire drills 

Fire drills will be carried out every six months and recorded in the Fire Safety Testing and Maintenance Log Book situated in main Office.

Designated persons for fire safety

The Downton Memorial Centre Trustees are responsible for ensuring that fire safety is maintained in line with this document.

Susan Barnhurst-Davies, as Chair of The Downton Memorial Centre, has overall responsibility to ensure compliance of this plan and that it is reviewed and kept fit for purpose.

Communication of fire safety information to visitors

As well as the Fire Action notices throughout the building information on fire safety, information is also provided within this document on the conditions of hire along with information, guidance and safety instructions.

How fire safety is communicated to Tenants/Hirers

This fire and evacuation plan is provided to all Tenants/Hirers who must sign that they have received and understood its contents and how to implement it. Other information, policies and guidelines are posted on the noticeboard at each entrance.

It is the responsibility of tenants and individual hirers to ensure that they have undergone sufficient training in fire safety procedures to carry out their duties effectively and safely.

Evacuation assembly points

The Evacuation Assembly Point for The Downton Memorial Centre (including the Hall) is in the children’s playground area of the adjacent Downton Memorial Gardens. The Responsible Person for each group/tenant/activity should ensure that they are aware of the position of the Evacuation Assembly Point and make this known to users of their activity. Fire Action notices are also positioned throughout the building detailing the position of the Evacuation Assembly Point.

On arrival at the Evacuation Assembly Point, keep together and identify any missing persons attending your event and report immediately to the Fire & Rescue Service

Inspection, maintenance and testing of fire equipment

See above re. designated responsibilities

Fire extinguishers

The fire extinguishers are annually checked and maintained by Walkers Fire Systems.

Jeremy Parsons carries out quarterly testing of emergency lighting and fire/smoke alarm, reporting any defects so that maintenance can be carried out

Use of electrical appliances

See Electrical Appliances above

Sources of heat/ignition

No unauthorised sources of heat or ignition must be brought onto site without the express permission of The Downton Memorial Centre Trustees.

See under Hirer’s responsibilities and Safety Instructions above for further information.

Any other information on fire safety

The Fire Alarm Panels are located just inside the lobby area for the Downton Community Pre-School and in the adjacent lobby area for the meeting rooms.


The Hirer will, during the period of the hiring, be responsible for supervision of the premises, the fabric and the contents; their care, safety from damage however slight; or change of any sort and the behaviour of all persons using the premises whatever their capacity; including proper supervision of the car parking arrangements so as to avoid obstruction.

Use of Premises

The Hirer shall not use the premises for any purpose other than that described in the hiring agreement and shall not sub-let or use the premises for any unlawful purpose or in any unlawful way or do anything or bring onto the premises anything which may endanger the same or render invalid any insurance policies in respect thereof nor allow the sale of alcohol thereon without a licence.

Damage or loss

Any damage, breakage or loss must be reported to the Booking Secretary immediately.  Deposits may be used to defray such replacement or repair costs.

Fire safety equipment is not to be interfered with or moved except for its intended purpose in an emergency.


Regular users may pay in advance, at the time of use or monthly in arrears.

Private, occasional and business applicants, must pay within two weeks of Application or immediately if booking is less than 2 weeks away.  Private party bookings require a damage/cleaning deposit of £25 for children’s parties and £100 for adult parties.

Hire charges apply to setting up and clearing up time so Hirers must take these into account.  Charges for utilities are usually included in the hire rates.

In the event of cancellation by the hirer, return of hire fee is at the discretion of The Downton Memorial Centre Trustees.

At the end of the event
The Hirer is to:

  • Return the Hall/ Meeting rooms to the condition in which they were received.  In the Main Hall this means putting away chairs and tables and leaving the room clean and tidy and rubbish after parties to be taken away. Meeting rooms: the setting up of chairs and tables will vary as to the terms of the booking
  • Secure all doors and windows, and close fire exits
  • Check that all water taps are turned off
  • Check that any heating you have turned on is turned off
  • Turn off all lights
  • Unplug electrical appliances
  • Complete the Accident Book if necessary
  • Report any damage, breakages or losses to the Booking Secretary
  • Make any constructive suggestions regarding the management of the
    Hall/rooms, Fire Safety or Health & Safety to a Trustee
  • Return the keys or lock up as per agreed arrangement
  • Pay any balance of hire charges to the Booking Secretary


No alcohol may be consumed on the premises of The Downton Memorial Centre, regardless of whether the alcohol is sold or provided free of charge, unless the Applicant has applied for and been granted permission/ obtained an appropriate licence. Where such permission is granted, it is the duty of the Applicant to nominate a responsible person to stay sober in order to assist in the case of emergencies (e.g. fire evacuation).  No alcohol must be supplied to anyone under the age of 18.

Performance Rights & Phonographic Performance licence

The Downton Memorial Centre purchases an annual licence from the Performing Right Society Phonographic Performance (PRS/PPL) for incidental music and/or other media based entertainments and the like in the Hall.  Applicant’s representing regular use leisure groups should satisfy themselves as to whether a separate PPL licence is required for their activity and, if so, are responsible for licensing their activity appropriately.

Guidance on this licence can be obtained by contacting PPL on 0207 543 1000.

Fire safety

It is a requirement for the Applicant to brief those attending and to keep fire exits clear during the event or activity. Downstairs all fire exit routes are available to those with reasonable mobility, and wheelchair users.  If there is a fire upstairs, the lift is not to be used.  Applicants organising activities or functions attended by the physically disabled are advised to nominate able-bodied persons to assist individuals in the case of fire evacuation.

Health and Safety

Hirers must conduct a Risk Assessment for their specific event and have a duty to mitigate all risks identified in their planning.

Health  & Hygiene  

The Hirer shall, if preparing, serving or selling food, observe all relevant food health and hygiene legislation and regulations.

Electrical Appliance Safety

THE Hirer shall ensure that any electrical appliances brought by him to the premises and used there shall be safe and in good working order, and used in a safe manner. Where a residual circuit breaker is provided under terms of the PEL or CPL, the Hirer must make use of it in the interests of public safety.


Hirers are to make specific arrangements with the Booking Secretary regarding access to the Hall/ Meeting rooms and securing it after use.  Hirers are responsible for the security of the premises at all times during the period of hire.


It is the responsibility of the Hirer to ensure that those attending events at the Hall/ Meeting rooms leave quietly, showing due respect for The Downton Memorial Centre’s neighbours.

All music and other noise must cease by 11pm and all guests must be off the premises by 11.30pm.

Car parking

Consent from the Trustees is required to use the Primary School car park out of school hours


The Trustees maintain building, contents and liability insurance to reasonably discharge their duties regarding their own responsibilities and activities. The Certificate of Insurance is on display in the The Downton Memorial Centre.  Applicants may view a copy of the policy on request.  This insurance may not provide adequate or even any suitable cover for certain events or activities.  Applicants are urged to consider, and obtain if appropriate, their own insurance to underwrite their event or activity, to cover any property brought to the The Downton Memorial Centre, and to discharge their own liability towards others involved in or affected by their event or activity.


The Hirer shall indemnify The Downton Memorial Centre for the cost of repair of any damage done to any part of the property, including the curtilage thereof, or the contents of the buildings which may occur during the period of the hiring as a result of the hiring.  The Hirer shall be responsible for making arrangements to insure against any third party claims which may lie against him or her (or the organisation if acting as a representative) whilst using The Downton Memorial Centre.

First Aid

A First Aid box is situated in the kitchen downstairs and the kitchenette upstairs.

All accidents and incidents, whether requiring First Aid or not, are to be recorded in the accompanying Accident / Incident Book. The completed form should be given to the Booking Secretary.


In accordance with the Law, smoking is not permitted anywhere within the Hall/ Meeting rooms, including the outside roof terrace.

Young and Vulnerable People

Events where children, young and vulnerable people are present must conform to the Law. Hirers must ensure appropriate supervision of children by adults at all times and that young and vulnerable people are protected from alcohol abuse. The Hirer must ensure that supervisors running events (not private parties) are properly accredited.

Drugs and Substance Abuse

Drugs and substances that can be abused are not permitted on the premises and Applicants are responsible for appropriate supervision of their event to ensure drugs and illegal substances are not available.

Flammable & Toxic Material

No explosive, flammable, toxic, hazardous or infectious materials are to be brought onto the premises.

Gaming, Betting and Lotteries  

The Hirer shall ensure that nothing is done on or in relation to the premises in contravention of the law relating to gaming, betting and lotteries.

Unsupervised Items

Items left at the Hall/ Meeting rooms premises overnight or unsupervised by day, remain the responsibility of the Hirer and not the Trustees of The Downton Memorial Centre.

Storage space

Those regular users granted storage space within the Hall/ Meeting rooms are to return all their resources to the agreed area at the end of their session and store them in a safe manner that does not create a hazard to other users. Insurance of any items so stored is the responsibility of the user.


The Hirer shall ensure that no animals (including birds) except guide dogs are brought into the Hall, other than for a special event agreed to by The Downton Memorial Centre Trustees. No animals whatsoever are to enter the kitchen at any time.

Sale of Goods 

The Hirer shall, if selling foods on the premises, comply with Fair Trading Laws and any code of practice used in connection with such sales.  In particular, the Hirer shall ensure that the total prices of all goods and services are prominently displayed, as shall be the organiser’s name and address and that any discounts offered are based only on manufacturer’s Recommended Retail Prices.

Cancellation by the Downton Memorial Centre Trustees

The Trustees reserve the right to cancel this hiring in the event of The Downton Memorial Centre being required for use as a Polling Station for a Parliamentary or Local Government election or by-election, in which case the Hirer shall be entitled to a refund of any hire fee or deposit already paid

Unfit for Use

In the event of the Hall or any part thereof being rendered unfit for the use for which it has been hired, The Downton Memorial Centre Trustees shall not be liable to the Hirer for any resulting loss or damage.

Refusal of Booking

The Downton Memorial Centre Trustees reserve the right to refuse a booking without notice or to cancel this hiring agreement either before or during the term of this agreement upon giving 7 days notice in writing to the Hirer. The Hirer shall be entitled upon such notice to reimbursement of such monies, including the deposit or a proportion of the same, as has been paid by the Hirer to the The Downton Memorial Centre.  The Downton Memorial Centre shall not be liable to make any further payment to the Hirer.