Hartington Village Hall AGM 12th October 2021: Chair’s Report
I trust that this report usefully summarises key points over the past year to members of the community while flagging up the very considerable challenges that faced the Village Hall in the past year and indeed continues to affect our operation.
1. Review of developments undertaken during 2020/21:
· Covid 19 secure: a working team of LB, KQ, RT and JG originally drafted guidance and processes that were compliant with early government guidance and these were endorsed by the Management Group. Subsequent revisions in our processes have been informed by guidance issued from both Support Staffordshire and ACRE/Rural Action Derbyshire. We are therefore open to user groups but urge hirers and hall users to familiarise themselves with our revised processes, available both in the Hall and on our website
· Roof replacement: completed on 21/08/2020 at a final cost of £44.8K and was paid for in September 2021. Feedback including images has been provided to all award bodies and those able to attend on 21/08/2021 were briefed on site on the initiative. SW Peak Landscape Partnership paid the promised grant of £10,000 in Nov 2020 allowing the reimbursement of both KQ and LB who had each made a temporary interest free loan to the Village Hall of £3,434.
· Refurbishment of the Lower Bakehouse: three volunteers (FP, KW and KQ) redecorated the area which had become primarily used as a storage area. With a grant for £1490 from the National Lottery Local Connections Fund the space has been transformed into a community hub. Further volunteers set up a community book, CD and jigsaw free loan scheme, benefitting from resources donated by numerous members of the community. The catalogue of books etc has been completed by JB. This resource continues to be available every Tuesday morning. In addition we have two Chromebooks available for community use plus a new projector and screen. We are grateful to the very many individuals who have been involved in setting up this ‘hub’ and hope the community will continue to use the resources available.
· Upper Bakehouse: LB has continued to significantly reorganise the space. She and LG have worked tirelessly on organising and cataloguing a rich range of local historical resources and we hope that shortly we can see the fresh establishment of a ‘Local History’ group to further explore the past of Hartington and make it available for current and future generations. When the boiler is eventually replaced we will redecorate.
· Trustees and Management Group Membership: following the departure from the village of long serving trustee and lottery promoter, Garry Booth, we are delighted that Rob Tenty has become a Trustee and David Graham joins the Management Group with responsibility as lottery promoter.
· Floor: AW has volunteered to buff prior to Dance Club restarting in September.
· Cleaning: thanks go to AC, GD, JG, SF, KT, AQ, and LB for undertaking a thorough clean of the premises in late August prior to a range of local user groups starting up in September. LB and KO tackled the outside areas, as well as PN and SN on the area at the back of the hall.
· 2019/20 external audit: During 2019/20 the audit revealed:
2019/20 2018/19 2017/18
Income from hire £4,489 £8,315 £7,167
Donations £145 £193 £2,845
Fundraising £25,393 £13,307 £1,325
TOTAL INCOME £30,130 £21,816 £11,338
TOTAL EXPENDITURE £7,994 £8,710 £6,242
NB: Total Income 2019/20 includes £102 interest. It does not show a grant payment from SWPLP that was secured in 2019/20 but only paid in Nov 2020. Spend in both 2018/9 and 2019/20 included much needed repairs and maintenance. No issues of concern were identified by the external audit. Our thanks go to KC as Treasurer.
The issues that arose from the roof replacement are a timely warning. The contractor indicated that if the roof tiles had been replaced two decades earlier the damage to the underlying timbers would have probably been avoided. While finances and available time and skill levels among our core volunteers are limiting factors we do need to develop a property management plan for the Hall that charts both work undertaken and what our maintenance priorities are. We have established a small working group of KW, JG and KQ to develop a plan to identify and address maintenance issues (first get together at end of September). Not in priority order we will probably need to consider:
· Replacing the heating system/oil storage tank/asbestos removal (in hand)
· Kitchen/bar area (next major priority)
· Ensuring the electrical system is efficient, functional and compliant.
· Masonry of both the Bakehouse and Main Hall – pointing/reducing damp
· Insulation of roof voids over Bakehouse and toilets
· Painting and decorating on a regular cycle
· Replacing rear doors or at least ensuring no water runs in.
· Maintenance of outside areas- front and back
· Maintenance of Staffs Blue roof tiles.
· Clearing of valley plus gutters.
2. Heating system replacement: After a process requiring three quotes it was decided to proceed with Dave Butterworth (Monyash) to replace the current system at a cost of £19,876 incl VAT ( ) .The oil fired system will be split into 3 zones. Fan coil units are recommended as he believes conventional radiators would take up all the available wall space. Each space would be controlled by a Nest thermostat. Controlling the heating would be done remotely rather than an individual coming in an hour before to fire up the system and then switch off later. Removal of asbestos panels and flue will cost £3924 and will be undertaken by Ashbrook Roofing Ltd as licenced operators. So total cost will be c£24K plus a small sum to create a new storage tank base. De-carbonise, an EU funded initiative based at Derby University ( ), have advised us. Options such as air source and ground source heating, as well as solar panels, have been dismissed as options based on locational factors and/or operational cost. Warslow Village Hall have kindly donated a Tuffa bunded and fire resistant storage tank to replace ours.
We have the necessary funding as a result of £2,500 secured through the Rob Tenty Boiler Bash plus £3000 from The Bingham Trust plus £17,273 from a series of successful applications for Business Interruption grants. In addition we have £2850 earmarked from our 2020/21 lottery initiative.
3. Lottery update: the 2020/21 small society lottery provided £1800 in prize monies and raised £2850 in income towards the replacement heating costs. As of 19/09/21 the 2021/22 lottery has sold 72 subscriptions, with a prize fund of £1800 and a current profit margin of £1800. Subscriptions can continue until our first draw on 13th October. The 2021/22 lottery income is designated to go to the refurbishment of the kitchen. The continued support for the Hall from our community has been most heartening.
4. As of 31st August (end of financial year) our finances stood at:
· Nat West bank account £18,001 (including an estimated £2250 of 2021/22 lottery income)
· Nationwide Business Savings Account £12,696
· £24,000 is in our accounts and targeted at the replacement heating system and £2250 ring fenced within our lottery to refurbish the kitchen. So we have a small contingency fund available should the heating system costs rise (c£2000 or 8%) while maintaining an operational sum of £2447 (equivalent to just 4 months of ‘normal’ operations).
· In summary our hire income in ‘normal’ times can just about cover costs but property improvements and routine maintenance will continue to be reliant on our lottery and grants.
5. Impact of Covid 19:
The following is offered as a provisional analysis. We have not been operating as ‘normal’ since mid March 2020 and although September 2021 is seeing the return of some of the long standing groups to the Hall certain groups have yet to book their regular sessions. By August 2020 we estimated an operational loss of £4900 set against 2018/19. By August 2021 a further provisional operational loss is £7000. However successful applications for business interruption grants have more than offset these estimated losses.
While the financial impact has been negated by the success of grant applications it has been understandable yet so frustrating to see the cessation of social activities since March 2020. Credit must be given to LB who has been steadfast in communicating with groups, keeping them updated on our progress and liaising on their return. We can only hope that as time passes we can safely and warmly welcome a diverse range of activities back to the Village Hall.
Chair of Trustees
Hartington Village Hall