A Financial Challenge(April 24, 2011)
As I write I am still on a high after a fantastic Big Band Concert in the Crosfield Hall on 5th April in aid of Romsey Opportunity Group (for pre-school children with special needs). We all really enjoyed the programme of big-band and dance-band music performed to an enthusiastic and very generous audience, and managed to raise in excess of £1,200 in the process.
Whilst the band happily gave its time to raise funds for this very worthy cause, it is in fact facing a huge financial challenge of its own. The purchase of the Timsbury WI Hall was completed three years ago next month and it is now ‘pay-back time’. Contrary to popular belief at the time, we did not secure ownership of the hall for a knock-down sum. The protracted negotiations with the National WI Federation following the demise of the Timsbury WI, led to our final offer of £75,000 – just fractionally below the market valuation at the time – being accepted. As a registered charity, the paying back of such a large amount of money requires our Management Committee, and our Trustees, to look at all options open to the band, and to make some very difficult decisions. The options being looked at include:
I. The possible future sale of the Band Hut site in Manor Farm Lane to generate funds to repay the loan and facilitate improvements to the Timsbury Band Hall site for use as a village amenity.
II. The replacement of the hut on the Manor Farm Lane site with a larger, purpose-built rehearsal facility, funded by the sale of the WI Hall.
With the Michelmersh Junior and Training Bands growing all the time, (currently some 45 children aged 6 – 18 play in the two bands), and the Silver Band going from strength to strength, it is vital that we obtain appropriate accommodation to secure the future for one of the village’s oldest organisations as it celebrates its 125th ‘birthday’ and, whilst stressing that no decision on how to proceed has yet been made, we would appeal for the support of our ‘home’ villages of Michelmersh and Timsbury when that decision has been made.
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