The building opened for worship on September 25th 1879, just nine months before it’s near neighbour, the Wesleyan Chapel. By 1900 the United Methodist Free Church began to realise their folly of having two chapels side by side and made the bold decision to sell theirs and build again in the Flexbury area which was then being developed. This was accomplished by April 1905. Plans to sell their old chapel to the Wesleyans for use as a Sunday School fell through and eventually it was leased to the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry and became known as the Drill Hall.
Conversion of the Drill Hall to Community Centre
In April, 1995, charitable status was confirmed for this community project. The Committee wished to keep work as far as possible on this project with local businesses and to this end the architect, Mr Richard Welby, was instructed to apply for tenders for the building work from local builders. In August, 1995, Mr. R. Jones of Milton Dameral submitted the successful tender and on 27th September work commenced. Special emphasis was given to making the entire building accessible for the disabled and as energy efficient as possible.
The building was opened by HRH The Princess Royal on 5th June 1996.
Over the years the evolution of the Bude-Stratton Community Project, known locally as Neetside Community Centre, has grown from its humble roots to the thriving centre of excellence it is today.