The original Farnham Institute Charity was created in 1890 by George Trimmer, a successful local brewer and wide ranging benefactor of Farnham, notably Trimmer's Cottage Hospital, the predecessor of the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice. The Farnham Institute building, located on the west side of South Street, just below the Mercure Bush Hotel, was completed by local builders Crosby's and Patrick's in1891 and flourished for many years as a social centre. Its early activities included cycling and gymnastics: facilities included a reading room, library and billiards room as well as the large hall which was put to a variety of uses over the years.
After the Second World War, the Institute was relaunched as the Central Club which thrived for many years.
The original declaration of trust was dated 1897, but in 1977 the trust was reconstituted. Trustees were drawn from volunteers active in local life and the objective of applying the trust's income - in effect the rent from the building - to any charitable purpose for the general benefit of the people of Farnham and the neighbourhood. The trust's objectives have remained unchanged since.
More recently the Central Club closed as membership declined and the building is currently let on a long lease as the conference centre linked to the Mercure Bush Hotel.