Petition now closed and sent to Ross McEwan – thanks for your support

Thank you all for your great support for our petition. We have closed it today at 467 signatures in order to send it in to Ross McEwan, Chief Exec at RBS, with copies to George Osborne, Vince Cable, and local MPs.
Had we left it longer we would have gained more signatures, and we will point this out in our covering letter, but in only 2 weeks we have have established the considerable level of support for our plans and for the proposal that RBS delay the sale of the Hall until we have completed the Heritage lottery process.
Please do continue to follow the project on our website http://houghendhall.org and do please consider adding your financial support by making a pledge, big or small on our crowdfunding appeal: you only pay if we meet the target, and showing that we have raised these funds will also help our HLF application which if successful would allow us to buy the Hall (read more about it here).
Thanks
Mark Burton and Carolyn Kagan
for the Friends of Hough End Hall

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Our crowdfunding appeal is launched!

CROWDFUNDING APPEAL NOW CLOSED.  For update and information on how you can still help fund the campaign – follow this link.

We are pleased to announce our crowdfunding appeal through SpacehiveSpacehive logo, linking to Hough End Hall crowdfunding page.

This is to raise money for heritage activities (heritage walk, book: “Hough End Hall, the Story”, interactive website, mobile exhibition) connected with Hough End Hall (1), although their successful completion will not depend on our being able to purchase the Hall. It will however contribute to positioning the Hall as a key part of the Chorlton and South Manchester heritage – and show the level of community support for the idea, essential for our big Heritage Lottery Fund bid. If we do manage to buy the Hall, then these projects will work in conjunction with the building. If we aren’t successful this time, they will help keep the Hall in the public eye, ready for the next time it comes on the market. Eventually Hough End Hall will be ours – and that means yours. Success in the crowdfunding campaign will also be a further signal to RBS of the strength of local support and strengthen our bid to the Heritage Lottery (which includes buying the Hall)

The way it works is that you pledge a contribution, and it can be large or small, but you only have to pay if we reach our target, and only at the close of the appeal on 31 January.

We are also offering some rewards for donors – see below.

Will you join those who have already made pledges and support this project?

Read more on our Spacehive page.

Our rewards.

If you pledge…

On completion you will be entitled to…

£5

An invitation to the book launch

£10

An invitation to the opening of the Heritage Walk

£15

The ebook version of “Hough End Hall, the Story” when published.

£50

The print version of “Hough End Hall, the Story” when published.

£75

Signed and numbered Giclée prints of the painting of the Hall (limited to 200).

£100

Your name among the acknowledgments printed in the book

£250

If and when we acquire the Halll, your name will be included on the Roll of Honour to be displayed permanently.

The most generous donations will be recognised through the naming of rooms and spaces within the Hall, if and when we acquire it.

(1) There is also a small element for the development of our capacity and ability as an organisation to successfully bid for and manage the Hall.

Hough End Hall – Tell RBS the community needs it!

RBS logo via http://www.rbs.co.uk/corporate.ashxWe are now at a critical point in the campaign to make Hough End Hall ours. As you may know the Hall is currently owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), through its troubled subsidiary ‘West Register. While the Hall has been vacant for some two years, there is now pressure from the Treasury for RBS to get rid of its property portfolio (part of its “de-leveraging”). That means that when the moratorium on its sale ends on 25 November, they will want to sell the Hall as soon as possible.

Our problem is that our best chance of raising the money to buy the Hall is through a big grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. But although our meetings with them have been encouraging, it will take longer than this until they could agree the money. This is because of the considerable amount of work needed to demonstrate that our plans to run the Hall are water-tight, and the set dates that they work to for considering proposals and finally agreeing funding (in December, 2015).

We have spoken to the manager at West Register, who although sympathetic, has clear instructions from above to make a sale as soon as possible. What we need to do is get as many people as possible to make the case for giving us more time. Because RBS is owned by you and me – the State is the majority (81%) shareholder – this is a realistic thing to ask for and to expect, and the positive publicity would help RBS in restoring its reputation. Indeed, they could even give the building to the community, but we don’t expect that.

What you can do:

1) Sign our petition to Ross McEwan (Chief Executive of RBS), George Osborne (Chancellor of the Exchequer, and MP for nearby Tatton) and Vince Cable (Business Secretary).
It is will take you a few moments via this link.

2) Write to your MP (using this model MP letter: but please personalise it)  asking them to give their support to our request to give us more time and identify us as the preferred buyer. Put in your postcode after you click this link and you can email your MP directly (but again please don’t just send an unchanged model letter – Write to them will block it if you do).

3) Share this with your family, friends and colleagues – by word of mouth (best), email, facebook and twitter. You can also share the petition in this way.

Thanks for you help, it really will help us Make it Ours!

Also look out for our Crowdfunding appeal – coming very soon.

Hough End Hall Family Fun Day – Let’s Make it Ours! 21st Sept.

IMPORTANT UPDATE

We have had to cancel the fun day until the Spring.  –  Thanks for your interest and we’ll see you then.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Hough End Hall Family Fun Day – Let’s Make it Ours!

How about putting it in your diary now?

Chorlton Park, 21st September, 2014, from 12 to 5.

 

More local press coverage for the campaign

In case you haven’t seen it yet, here is the latest coverage of the campaign in the South Manchester Advertiser.  It focuses on the history project about the hall and also gives some basic information about what we are doing.

Thanks again to Helen Johnson for the coverage.

Advertiser 23rd July 2014

Our new video about Hough End Hall and the campaign

Hough End Hall, Chorlton-cum-Hardy – Let’s make it ours!

This video gives you a general explanation of this project to bring Hough End Hall under comunity ownership and management as a resource for the people of Chorlton and South Manchester.  To donate to the project click this link. Our crowdfunding call will follow soon.

Published on 10 Jul 2014

The Friends of Hough End Hall, Chorlton-cum-Hardy are seeking to raise money to the tune of about £300,000 so that they can buy the Grade 2* listed Hough End Hall for the use of the South Manchester community.
In the film, Peter Topping, Carolyn Kagan and Andrew Simpson all talk about the hall, what it has been in the past and what it is hoped it will become in the future, as a place to meet, a place to eat, for art and education and as a social and recreational centre.
Friends of Hough End Hall is a not for profit company registration no 9096872.
Paintings and music by Peter Topping.
Film sponsored by Hardy Productions UK, filmed and presented in 4K (3840×2160 pixels).

To donate to the project click this link. Our crowdfunding call will follow soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Hough End Hall in Beech Rd Park – Sunday

Here’s a cheeky preview (thanks Peter):

Hough End Hall placed in the park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… if a little small (maybe we’ll get a reduction on the price?), it does give an indication of how the Hall deserves better surroundings than the brutalist office blocks of the 1960s.
Anyway come on down on Sunday to the Beech Rd and Chorlton Green Fmly Fun Day, this Sunday (6th July, 2014) from 12-5 and find out more about where we are up to and how you can help.

We’ve received our first grant

Here is an exciting news update about our work to make Hough End Hall ours.

We’ve been awarded a grant for £10,000 from the Community Assets and Services Grant Programme.image of money

The grant is to strengthen the organisation so we are in a position to apply for more funds such as the Heritage Lottery Fund (for the money to buy Hough End Hall and to cover the running costs for an initial period). It means we can,

  • Incorporate Friends of Hough End Hall as a Charitable Limited Company.
    We have done the first part of this and are now working on the application for charitable status. The work on incorporation also means doing an “organisational health check” and working through issues on assets and governance. As well as strengthening our grant application this will get us into the right shape as a community organisation capable of taking over the community asset.

  • Pay for a condition survey of the building.
    We have conducted a selection exercise and appointed Adrian Pearson, a conservation architect, from LLOYD EVANS PRICHARD LTD to do this. Can Do Communities will also work with us on this.

  • To do the necessary business planning.
    This will include a financial plan, a vital part of our application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the money to buy the Hall and to run it for the initial period while we build up its capacity to be self-sustaining. Lloyd Evans Prichard, who are very experienced in Heritage Lottery Applications, will also be helping with some aspects of this. Adrian has kindly arranged to contribute some of his time as a donation.

We will also need to raise a considerable sum of money from the community to contribute to the needed funds, and we are working on a crowdfunding call to do this. More on this soon!

We are also grateful for support from HLF Berry (Robin Burman has kindly contributed some of his time as a donation) and Can Do Communities for advice on the complicated issues in getting formally incorporated, applying for grants and getting the Hall listed as a community asset by the city council. Thanks to everyone else who has helped us in any way up to now: we are at an exciting stage, having progressed from the stage of having a great idea to getting stuck into the hard work of bringing it about.

What is the Community Assets and Awards Programme?

The Community Assets and Services Grant Programme is an integral part of the Community Rights Support Programme. The grants are delivered on behalf of the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), by the Social Investment Business (SIB Group) and ACEVO. SIB manages the grant funds. Locality and ACEVO deliver the advice and support element of the programme which will run for three years. More information at http://mycommunityrights.org.uk and http://www.sibgroup.org.uk/communityrights/

Did you see the article about us in the South Manchester Advertiser?

As you might have seen, we made the front page of the South Manchester Advertiser of June 11th.  The photograph includes a number of our supporters, including some local councillors.  Apologies to those who weren’t included in the photos chosen to illustrate the article.  Thanks to everyone for their continuing support!

The Advertiser Front Page

The Advertiser Front Page

The article, featuring Peter Topping and Carolyn Kagan cheekily "unlocking" the Hall.

The article, featuring Peter Topping and Carolyn Kagan cheekily “unlocking” the Hall.

You can also see the brief report of our community consultation, HERE.