There are lots of things to tell you about this month.

Bids we have made

We have submitted a bid to the Social Investment Bank (SIB) for what they call a prefeasibility grant.  If we get this we will be able to pay for a survey of the Hall and support for developing our organization, policies and business plan. Thanks to Can Do Communities for working with us on this. We should know the outcome by the end of May.

Crowdfunding is on the horizon

A lot of you have suggested we use crowdfunding to raise money.  This is the system where lots of people donate various amounts (and via the crowd, we raise the money!). We have linked with Crowdfunding UK who are supporting us in preparing for this. The success of crowdfunding depends largely on the reach of the contacts we have and their willingness to contact others about the project.  So do tell people about the campaign and encourage them to get in touch.

Links

We had a really useful afternoon with Alice Ullathorne from English Heritage (they are the ones who deal with the 2* listed status – did you know 2* means the Hall is in the top 7% of important buildings?).

We met with Tom Austin from Southways Housing Trust and we hope this will lead to further discussions about how we can work together. It would be great to have more people from Arrowfield involved in discussions at this early stage and to develop a partnership with Southways.

Community presence

We had stalls at the new Chorlton Community market in March and April and this gave us a good opportunity to talk to local people and for them to sign up their interest or take out a membership of the Friends of Hough End hall. We will be at other markets on May 10th and June 14th  outside Postbox Café. We hope to see you there.

We had a stall at the Chorlton Big Green Happening on April 26th – preserving and re-using old buildings is a central plank of a  ‘green’ Chorlton, and it is great to be a part of a movement for a sustainable future.

Community consultation

The first round of the consultation is now ended and many thanks to everyone who filed in a survey on line or via leaflet, or has contacted us to tell us what you think. The main recommendations for using the hall can be found on the website at www.houghendhall.org

Of course, when it comes to the crunch it may not be feasible to do all of these things but your ideas have given us a good foundation from which to move forward.  The next stage of the consultation is to talk to different groups and services and try to get a clear sense of where there are gaps in existing facilities and what usage of the Hall might realistically be possible. If anyone would like to get involved in this stage, do contact us as there is lots to do.

Support for the campaign

As well as having the support from lots of local people, we have the support of all the local councillors and John Leech, MP. We have been in touch with some important national bodies who now know of our campaign, including Locality, Community Shares, Crowdfunding UK,  Architectural Heritage Fund, English Heritage and Heritage Lottery Fund.  It has proved difficult to grab the interest of local press, so if you have any contacts, please tell them about the campaign.  We have even been to London to talk to RBS, the owners, to ensure they are in doubt about our seriousness: we think they are interested in the possibility of community use for the Hall.

What next?

We are inching forward in making a decision about how to be legally constituted and need to get this in place;

If we are successful in securing the prefeasibility grant we will have to get cracking and spend it within 3 months;

We will need to continue bidding for grant money;

We are beginning to talk to local businesses about how they might be able to support the campaign – get in touch if you would like to discuss this with us;

We will begin the second, more focused local consultation;

We will continue to develop a business plan

        We must find an accountant (please pass Information to anyone you know who might be able to help us).

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glad to be in

A Chorlton Civic Society project in conjunction with Three’s Company


For more information contact Carolyn Kagan

37 Chandos Road South,

Chorlton-cum-Hardy, M21 0TH

Telephone: 0161 881 6887

Email: houghendhall@gmail.com

So, if you would like to get involved in any way, please get in touch by email or phone (see details below).

Bulletin 3. April 2014
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