Plan B

31 Jan 2019 - 15:02

Thanks to everyone who contributed to our fundraising campaign and we exceeded the target of £10,000 comfortably.  This let us finalise and lodge an application to Heritage Lottery Fund and will cover our running costs for the rest of this financial year.

Our application to HLF unfortunately was rejected.  This was a highly competitive round attracting a record number of applications and the reasons given were the lack of matched funding and the high level of risk for an organisation with no track record or resources.  HLF have however indicated that they would welcome continued discussion and that we should look at the new grant arrangements that will come into effect in early 2019.

Undaunted the Board have taken this as a spur to go back to the drawing board and look at ways of reducing risk by simplifying the alterations.  Following a detailed examination of the designs we have identified several aspects which were desirable rather than essential.  Our target is still to have space within a much smaller extension that will enable all of the proposed courses to run so that we can deliver all or most of the outputs in the Business Plan.  We will also phase the development of the bedrooms.  This is now Plan B.

The target is to get the capital cost down from £6.1M to £4M  This also means that we need to bring back the Design Team to prepare amended drawings and costs and re-calculate the conservation deficit.  Some concerns have been raised about how the capital works may be treated for VAT, so we need to get some specialist advice on this.  We are also keen to spell out more clearly what the likely economic impact of this project might be.

To do all of this we need to find a further £10,000 and we are now in discussion with a potential funder for this.  Any decision on this will not be made until the end of March.

In the meantime, we have drawn up some sketches of what the extension might include so if any Tutors who wanted to use this space would like to meet and discuss this please let us know and we would be happy to arrange to meet.