Many of you are no doubt aware that redevelopment works are yet to start and that the Centre has been minimally used during the past three months. It was hoped to start work at the end of June, but unfortunately the contractor tenders for the works were significantly higher than the monies currently raised. This has caused a delay to the start date whilst extensive negotiations are carried out with the lowest contractor to make the required savings on costs. A revised scope of works is expected to be finalised by the first week of September. A formal contract will then be issued to the Contractor, and after allowing for the required six week ‘lead-in’ period, the revised start date on site will be late November. The construction period is likely to be five months. Whilst significant savings are having to be made, the Centre Management Committee firmly believe that the revised scope of works will not materially impact the overall finished product.
The Centre Management Committee are continuing to work hard in trying to secure additional funding to reduce the current shortfall and thereby ensure as much of the planned works as possible can be carried out. In this regard, further grant applications have recently been submitted to a number of trusts and foundations, and these applications total in excess of £140k. We are also contacting some funders that have already pledged monies to see whether they would be prepared to contribute further funds. In addition, a number of local fundraising events have been organised over the course of the next 6 months. Fundraising activities will continue into 2017.
Whilst we understand the concern over the perceived lack of progress and use of the Centre, the Centre Management Committee would like to re-assure everyone that considerable efforts are being made to deliver the best possible project, whilst at the same time trying to minimise the loss of revenue due to the enforced period of inactivity. With the continued support of everyone, we are confident that the Harrold Centre project will soon be realised to the benefit of all.
To finance the proposed redevelopment of Harrold Centre we have currently raised £275k, predominantly from external funders. In addition the Centre is applying for a £50k loan from the Charity Bank.
We still need further monies to ensure that the project is fully realised, but we remain confident that sufficient monies will be obtained. We are still awaiting to hear outcomes on 40 grant applications, and further applications will be submitted in the near future.
The funders who have kindly pledged monies are Harrold Parish Council, Bernard Sunley, Harpur Trust, Wixamtree Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, Allchurches Trust, Gayle Family Trust, Foyle Foundation, Hobson Charity, Beatrice Laing Trust, Robert Kiln Charitable Trust, Bedford Borough Council, Harrold-on-Line, Harrold Calvados Society, Paul Young Independent Financial Advisors and the Tusting family.
To raise the remaining funds we would like to work together with the entire community, including regular Centre users, residents, local businesses and local organisations. This could be either through donations, holding fund raising events or by applying for further grant funding.
Every offer of support will help make the Centre the building that the village deserves and needs. If you can help in anyway please contact Nigel Grout by email: firstname.lastname@example.org