The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre was formed in 2009 when the former Havant Arts Centre and Havant Museum merged to become a new charity.
In the early 1860s the area where The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre now stands was mainly fields but the completion of the Hayling Branch Line, to Langstone in 1865 and to Hayling in 1867, paved the way for the development of the East End of Havant.
The Old Town Hall
Half of The Spring is housed in what used to the Havant Town Hall.
In 1868 the Havant Town Hall Company Limited was formed under the chairmanship of the Lord of the Manor, William Henry Stone MP, who donated £500 towards the cost of a new Town Hall. The plans were drawn up by Richard Drew, William Stone’s architect for Leigh Park House.
The building opened on 28 January 1870 with a grand opening concert featuring solo artists from London. Thereafter, the hall was used for public meetings, lectures, flower and pet shows, auctions, wedding receptions, furniture sales and more. The Volunteers’ armoury was also housed in the building.
In 1931 the Havant and Waterloo Urban District Council was formed and the Town Hall building was used as its administrative headquarters.
The Spring’s heritage galleries are housed in what was once known as Lymbourne House, owned by Mary Charge.
The house was built in 1874 as a private home known as Lymbourne and later as Moorlands. It had four different owners before becoming home to the WRNS from 1942 until the end of WW2. In 1946 the house was sold to Havant and Waterloo Urban District Council. The gap between the buildings was filled in at a later stage to make one complex.
In 1977 new Civic Offices opened in Civic Centre Road. The old Town Hall building and the area linking it with the former house were converted into a new Arts Centre, which opened on 24 June 1978. Havant Museum opened in October 1979 in what had once been Lymbourne House. It was operated by Hampshire County Council Museum Service until 2009 when, due to financial difficulties, it faced closure.
The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre was born when the museum was merged with the arts centre. The name of The Spring was chosen to reflect the importance of the local springs and waterways which brought parchment making and glove making to Havant and has been so important in the life of the town.
In 2013 The Spring launched an outreach programme to deliver work beyond the building. The organisation received support from Arts Council England in order to run various projects which were built on over subsequent years.
In 2018 The Spring joined Arts Council England’s National Portfolio, for the first time receiving nationally recognised revenue funding.