Thursday, 5 August 2010

Charity Registration At Last

Back again, with apologies to our followers and other readers for the absence of regular updates since March. The fact is that, until fairly recently, there has been very little in the way of progress with our project, largely because the money needed to to qualify as a registered charity took longer than we expected to come through. We finally managed to assemble the necessary funds, and on 14 July we became registered as Bemerton Community.

We raised the money through loans, donations and local fundraising activities. The latter have been well supported by the local residents, and we were particularly pleased with our Open Gardens event on 30 June, which raised over £1000. It was delightful that a few local primary school children got together to run a Cake Stall for us - every little helps. We have also succeeded recently in obtaining a small grant from our local council to assist with project planning.

In the meantime, St. John's has recently been regraded as a Grade II* listed building and we're now starting to grapple with the inevitable resistance to change from the various bodies and authorities concerned with conservation. While we are entirely sympathetic with their point of view, the fact remains that the building will only survive if it is used by the local community. This means that some internal alterations are inevitable if it is to be used as a financially viable community centre.

We are now concentrating on completing our Business Plan, which will enable the Funding Team to start applying for capital funding grants. The Building Team is working on producing a planning brief for the architects, and continuing the survey of similar projects so that we can benefit from the lessons learned by others. So there is much to do in the next few months.


Post a Comment