A TADLEY charity dug deeper into its pockets for a further £50,000 towards the re-estimated £885,000 cost of building the town’s new youth centre on Monday evening (Feb 9).
Planning permission was granted in November for the two-storey building, to be built on part of the former Burnham Copse Infant School site, in Newchurch Road, behind Tadley and District Community Centre.
At a Turbary Allotment Charity meeting on Monday evening (February 9), the charity’s trustees heard an application for a further £50,000 grant towards building costs, by Adrian Noad, the chairman of Tadley and District Community Association, (TDCA), overseers of the building work.
The charity granted £250,000 towards building costs in October 2013.
Mr Noad said the association had decided on an (unnamed) contractor they wished to work with and were looking to firm up estimated costs, risen due to items such as a £4,000 water detection system and illuminated bicycle sheds and previously estimated as high as £925,000.
After ‘tweaking’ he said, the design, including moving staircases and reducing fixtures and fittings and ditching the idea of wood finish interior walls, in favour of plasterboard, the estimate had been revised down to a total £885,000.
However with a total £838,000 pledged towards the cost, this left a shortfall of £50,000:
“If we don’t have that £50,000, we will have to decide what to cut out of the building - it could be we don’t have an upstairs!” said Mr Noad, adding it was hoped to start work on the building in April.
Lottery funding, he added, was a “Non starter” as “We don’t live in a deprived area.”
Trustee, Christine Keeling, highlighted the likelihood of further, future running costs, due to lack of revenue income: “I am not against being a ‘lender of the last resort’, but have to say there is a limit to one’s pockets,” said Mrs Keeling, adding other organisations had to be given chance of obtaining the charity’s funds.
Mr Noad said some income would be derived from the youth centre cafe and room rental. Raising additional funds in future years would be “An even bigger task,” he added, but funding was needed to get the building off the ground.
Every trustree voted in favour of the grant, except Mike Broad who, informed by the clerk, Nicki Barry, he could not abstain, then voted against.
Funds obtained for the wooden, factory built building, to be craned onto the site, include: Public Works loan (awaiting confirmation) – £150,000, (reduced from £250,000), Turbury Allotment Charity – £300,000, Greenham Common Trust – £65,000, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council – £182,300, Tadley Town Council – £160,000 and the balance from individual donations (CHECKING).
The charity, of which the town council is the corporate trustee, provides grants to organisations or individuals in the Tadley area in need, hardship or distress.
IMAGE – Design ACB