PURCHASE OF SCHOOL
We have been informed that the Council will sign the transfer document on Thursday 31st March, 2016. The building will then be ‘ours’.
Let’s now move forward to the next task and get the building how we want it. This will include us making a third application for lottery funding and exploring other grants that may be available.
On Friday 26th February, 2016 Dafydd Edwards (Chairman) and Malcolm Sumner (Company Secretary) signed the contract for the purchase of the old school building and grounds, on behalf of Cymuned Pennant.
The agreed payment of £50,000 was made, this money consisting of a £25,000 Community Grant from Ceredigion County Council and £25,000 raised from the Community.
Thank you to everyone for their generous support in this venture. The Community now has its own Community facility.
After some delay the Council signed the transfer document/contract and Pennant owns the old school building and land.
Presently the organisation is working towards the lottery grant to purchase and refurbish the old school building.
We have received a £21,500 Development Grant from the Big Lottery Fund and have instructed an Architect to prepare plans. There is also a Solicitor carrying out the relative searches and processes with a view to the purchase of the old school and land.
On 10th July, 2012 planning permission was granted by Ceredigion County Council permitting development of the site which would involve the refurbishment of the building along with a new two storey extension. Plans are available to be viewed at the Community Centre.
Prior to 4th October 2012 the amended lottery bid document, planning consents, plans, surveys and legal documentation will be submitted for a final decision on the lottery bid to finance the Community Centre project.
The 'Full' Lottery Bid was submitted on 8th November, 2012. Now all we can do is wait!
Following 3 years of hard work, in preparing this Lottery Bid; the maintainance and running of our Community Centre: and the expenditure of over £20,000 we received a short letter, dated 2nd April, from the Big Lottery Fund, People & Places programme, stating that they would not be offerring us a grant for our project.
There were reasons given on the letter but these were very unsatisfactory and a more professional and detailed feedback has been requested.
We have been in touch with the Big Lottery Fund in Cardiff and it is our initial intention to submit another bid for Lottery Funds.
We are determined that this Community Project, which is supported by the Community and has grown since its inception in July 2009, should not be held back and will develop and further prove its sustainability.
There is a Community Meeting at 8.00pm on Tueday 9th April to discuss what we do next and how we move forward. Any ideas and assistance would be greatly appreciated.
A new application is being submitted to the Big Lottery Fund - People & Places Grant during the week commencing 29th April, 2013. We will fight to secure funds for our Community to provide the things that the Community Centre has provided and shown that we need. We know that it is important and will be supported.
The New Application was submitted to the Big Lottery Fund Offices at Helmont House, Cardiff.
Panel will be meeting to consider our application 16th November, 2013 but the result of the panel will not be made known until December, 2013.
Following the delay by the Big Lottery Fund, which is claimed to be due to the introduction of a new computer system/software, we have been assured that we will know about the result of our second lottery bid on Saturday 22nd March, 2014. We will let everyone know what happens as soon as possible.
Unfortunately we have again been turned down on our second applicationagain for a Big Lottery Fund Grant.
We took on board the 'feedback' from the last failed bid and updated the bid document. We addressed the two points that were raised and submitted the bid again. This was 99% of what was submiited on our first bid. The second time SIX different points were raised as to why we did not get a grant. This is very frustrating and shows a total lack of any criteria to assess bids on their own merits. This shows that getting a lottery grant is a bigger 'lottery' than buying a winning ticket.
On Saturday 5th April a meeting was held to see where we go from here. We will continue to look for funding to buy the old school and develop the facilities to meet our identified needs. A further update meeting is being held on Friday 18th April, to identify and submit any funding opportunities. WATCH THIS SPACE!
COMMUNITY - FUTURE ACTION
The resolve of the Management Group is that, before any other action is taken, all options should be explored to purchase the building and land. The purchase should be a priority before any consideration is given to obtaining funds for the development of the site and building.
Options to be considered for raising the required funding would be donations, community share or bonds, mortgage/loan, grants or any other community funding opportunities. These are to be explored with the assistance of CAVO, the Welsh Government and Ceredigion County Council. Any further application to the Big Lottery Fund would be deferred until the purchase of the building was made.
A letter has been sent to Ceredigion County Council setting out Cymuned’s present position with regards to the purchase of the old school and the second failed bid to the Big Lottery Fund. We have requested that we might negotiate a further lease and for them to indicate a realistic purchase price for the building.
An alternative plan for a community centre may also have to be explored. This option would entail the acquisition of land and the construction of a new purpose built facility. However, realistically, we would prefer an option of developing the old school. We have to look at another option to ensure that our project is good value for money.
Arrangements were made for a Grant Meeting to be held on Friday 18th April, 2014, to see what the result of our enquiries would reveal.
Considering all available options it was decided to complete an ‘Expression of Interest Form’ for funding from the Welsh Government Community Facilities Programme. From the date this form is submitted a reply should be received within 30 days stating if our project met the funding criteria. If eligible a full application would have to be completed.
Cymuned always appreciates any assistance that anyone can offer. If you can assist in any way please do not hesitate to contact any of the Directors/Trustees.
12th July, 2014
Our initial submission of the 'Expression of Interest Form' has resulted in a request for a full bid to be submitted. This must be submitted before 16th December, 2014.
30th March, 2015
We have received a telephone call from the Welsh Government stating that our application for funding has not been successful. We do not know any reason(s) so far but we are expecting a letter outlining them.
1st April, 2015
Cymuned made an offer in a letter to Ceredigion County Council, for the purchase of the old school building, of £50,000.
22nd April, 2015
A letter was recieved, dated 17th April, 2015, accepting Cymuned's offer.
23rd April, 2015
Grant document, for a £25,000 capital grant, was made to the Ceredigion County Council Community Grant Scheme. Documents were delivered by hand and the grant panel next sit at Penmorfa on Tuesday 12th May, 2015.
29th April, 2015
Confirmation given in relation to the loan, for the remaining £25,000 needed, to match the funding if it is made available by from a Community Grant. Solicitors instructed pending the imminent purchase of the building.
29th July, 2015
We are still hoping that the purchase of the old school will go through by the end of July, 2015. We were hoping for it to be a quick process but I waiting on the Council’s Solicitors to move things on too a conclusion.
You can still help in the purchase of your Community Centre or, assist with the costs that we will incur in the purchasing process. You can make a donation at any time. If you are a tax payer you can complete a ‘Gift Aid’ form and we are able to claim 25p for every pound donated.
A very big thank you to everyone who has made substantial donations in the last two months. This will be a great help in securing your Community Centre for now and the future.
1st September 2015
We are still awaiting the contract for the sale of the former Pennant School from Ceredigion County Council. As a result, even though the Council agreed the sale of the building to Cymuned in April, we are still paying £250.00 per month in rent.
You are still able to help in the purchase of your Community Centre or, assist with the costs that we will incur in the purchasing process. You can make a donation at any time. If you are a tax payer you can complete a ‘Gift Aid’ form and we are able to claim 25p for every pound donated.
5th December 2015
We are still trying to get agreement on the terms of the Contract to purchase the old school. Ceredigion County Council agreed a sale price and then have tried to impose further costs and conditions. We are still trying to negotiate a fair and just contract.