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/

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We got listed!

We are thrilled to hear that the Council has made the decision to place Hough End Hall on the Register of Assets of Community Value. So, once the owners, (West Register, part of RBS) tell the council they are wanting to dispose of the land, and we confirm we want to bid, we should get 6 months during which they cannot conclude a sale to anyone else. The legislation lets them continue negotiating with someone else but not conclude a sale.

We will need to make sure we make a good bid!

Thanks to all who supported the nomination, especially Chorlton Civic Society.