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Old Bluecoat Trust hands over restoration finances to Thatcham Town Council



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The Old Bluecoat School Trust, the charitable trust in charge of the 14th century, Chapel Street building, made the request of the town council after it submitted a planning application for major refurbishment works.
The move will allow the VAT to be reclaimed by the town council as it would constitute non-business activity.
It means that funds and grants for the works would be collected by the town council and not the trust, and that the council would become responsible for the project.
The chairman of the trustees, Clive Williams, confirmed that all grantors were happy for their money to go to the town council.
Town councillor Owen Jeffery (Lib Dem, Thatcham South and Crookham) described the situation as win-win.
He said that the proposal was allowed within the tax laws and that the council should be prepared to protect the building which had stood in the town for more than 700 years.
One of the main aims of the project is to improve the sound insulation, to prevent traffic on the A4 disturbing the regular concerts held there.
The proposed works include conservation of existing masonry, repairs to the roof, installing insulation, replacement of windows and providing internal secondary glazing.
A statement by the agent for the application, Andrew Townsend Architects, said: “The proposed works to this historic building will allow more users to enjoy the building and ensure that one of the oldest buildings in Thatcham is preserved for future generations.
“Even though the building has excellent acoustics, the close proximity of the A4 causes uncomfortable noise disturbance for occupants, especially during concerts and sound recording.
“The proposals for the building are intended to bring the building back into a good state of repair as well as significantly improving its appearance and thermal/acoustic insulation.”
West Berkshire Council is due to make a decision by May 16.



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