You did it!

The Concert for People’s Cafe Fundraiser managed to raise (drum roll…) £2773.60! That took us to within just £12.25 of the target. But a couple of donations later, we made it with some to spare.

This means we can now take the process through planning, our architect can develop our designs after which we can meet with the various experts needed to help make the plans a reality.

Phase 1 – tick. You did it.

What we’ve realised while going about these consultations and fundraisers is that the very thing we envision the cafe bringing about – celebration, learning, community, generosity, fun – are already a part of what’s happened so far. All without a single coffee being served. This is obviously just the beginning and we have loved tasting a bit of what is to come when it opens.

Where are we now?

Legal: We are still waiting for the Secretary of State to sign off the council’s decision to award the Community Asset Transfer. We have agreed the terms of the lease but until someone from central government says ‘OK’ in a legal sort of way, we can’t sign the lease on the building. We are in touch with the council and there is movement. It’s just slow.

The building: Ana Sutherland, our fantastic architect, is now in the process of putting together the planning application, taking all of the consultation ideas and turning them into a coherent vision for the space. Once this is submitted it’ll mean a bit more waiting for a decision. After which we can start talking to contractors about making that plan into a reality.

Money: It feels a little bit frustrating that in an email celebrating the amazing £7k raised by the local community, we also have to acknowledge we need a LOT more money to transform the building in a way that reflects the community’s vision. We have a fundraising team currently speaking to funders, firing off funding bids and tracking down appropriate grants to make this vision a reality. That’s Phase 2 of the project (Phase 3 being opening the cafe). If you have any experience with this sort of work and are interested (or know someone with very deep pockets) do let us know! 

Obviously, some of this is moving slower than we hoped but we are very much enjoying the ride. Thank you all for your ongoing support!