Our main effort continues to be our funding campaign. Now we have a building to develop, we need to get the remaining capital in place for the conversion as soon as possible. Our title to the property will secure a loan, and the steering group are working hard on the Business Plan, preparing to contact ethical lenders. We still need further private investment to strengthen our position when we make formal application for a loan. It is likely we will seek to match the money we have, so our current aim is to raise fifty per cent of the likely total project cost ourselves.
In that connection, we will be attending the Triodos annual meeting in Bristol on June 20, so look out for the AEOB people working the room if you’re there and come and have a chat. There’ll be copies of our new leaflet in delegates’ bags, too.
On site, we continue to firm up the details of the work that will be needed. The architects have been up in the roof taking measurements of the timbers which need to stay and working out how they affect the extension. Our site manager Elinor has also had a chance to look at the more detailed plans which are coming together, as well as at how the new and old parts of the building will work together, and is starting to think about the order of works with a view to weather-tightness during the build.
We are also looking into who might lead on the timber frame, and have contact with some people who have experience working with community workforces.
The group of prospective residents is meeting monthly and developing a core of interested people. We are starting to look into the skills available and how other skills can be developed. There’s still space for more people so we welcome contact from anyone interested in living at or working on the site.