Village Institute Report 2015-16

v-instReport for Longstanton Annual Parish Meeting
Monday 25th April 2016

The Village Institute continues to provide a community facility for a wide range of groups.  There are currently 8 regular weekly users, 3   monthly users and several other regulars who use the building on a less frequent basis.  Bookings remain steady with morning and evenings pretty much fully booked, but afternoons are free.

The Parish Council continues to rent the office at the back of the Institute, which ensures a regular income.

Since November 2014, a cleaning company has been employed to clean the hall twice a week. This has saved the charity over £2,500 over the salary of a caretaker/cleaner.

In May 2015, it was unfortunate that the wall mounted water heater in the kitchen became faulty and coated the servery in boiling water for around 12 hours overnight.  Having claimed on the insurance, the Village Institute can boast a beautiful new servery.

Income for the Year:         £14,374.00
Expenditure for the Year:    £12,267.39
Profit for the year          £ 2,106.61

The Village Institute has formed a group to look into the requirements for Longstanton’s community facilities moving forward.

This brings our future plans into the spotlight. A questionnaire was delivered to all 1,500 homes in the village and the responses to these resulted in a brief being sent to a number of architects. We were fortunate enough for 4 of these companies to provide us with some concept drawings of potential community facilities. A drop-in was held on April 9th, allowing residents to see what could be achieved on the Recreation Ground.  This facility would replace the 2 buildings currently in the village – the Village Institute and the Pavilion, both of which are not fit for purpose.

Any new facility would be here for the foreseeable future and needs to be future proof.  It would need to be seen as an asset for the village – a village hub together with the sports area.  It will be for the use of everyone, including the early residents of Northstowe, as there will be very few facilities for the new residents.

It is clear from the responses received to the questionnaire that residents would like to see a multi-use sports hall that can be divided into smaller rooms for use by smaller groups during the day and evenings. It is perceived that this area would replace what the Village Institute has been providing. The facilities could also be used for social groups, parties, conferences, village markets, breakfast meetings, etc.  There will be communal areas for socialising – café/bar/terrace.

It is also proposed the new build should include the Parish Office and perhaps some serviced offices for businesses.  These could possibly include health services (osteopath, etc.) or facilities for people who work from home and need teleconferencing facilities or to hold meetings away from their home office. These will provide a steady income in the form of rent which will help towards the running costs of the building. I want to make it clear that the building is going to have to pay for itself, therefore there will be a very robust business plan in place to secure its future.

I want to reassure the village that the Parish Council will not be running this building, so history will not repeat itself. It is proposed that the new centre will be managed by a new Charitable Trust which will probably set up a not-for- profit management company that will manage the building.  All this is yet to be formalised and when this is done we will publish the information.

So that leaves me with the question as to how do we achieve this amazing building?  Money will be raised from sale of assets and grants and donations sought from all sources. We also need to raise money to match funds.

My question to everyone is, “If you want a building for the future, your future, your children’s future, what can you do to help?” Because we cannot do this without your help. In what way can you help to raise money: individually, jointly, community wide? Because the sooner we get on and get started, the sooner the building will be here. So please get thinking and talking amongst yourselves as to how we can raise funds.

Come and talk to us, join the working groups and let’s make it happen.

Gill Ashby
Chairman Longstanton Village Institute Trustees

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