Report on year ending 31.12.05 to Annual General Meeting 14 September 2006
ø Board of Trustees
At the 2005 AGM the following trustees were re-elected for a period of 3 years: Mark Cummins, Adam Lively, Judith Robinson and Andy Thompson. During 2005 there were 9 other trustees: Sarah Calef, Gill Close, Graham Durham, Patricia French-Walsh, Corinne Gladstone, Rachel Khan, Martin Redston, Paula Ryan and Judith Webster.
ø Support for the project
Sarah Teather MP spoke at the public meeting following the 2005 AGM. The GLA and parliamentary candidates expressed their support for the project.
ø Brent Council and the GLA
During the early part of 2005, Brent Primary Care Trust (PCT) was working with Brent Council on its proposals for a health centre at Dollis Hill House. In May 2005, the PCT board voted not to pursue these proposals. Brent Council then asked the Dollis Hill House Trust to prepare and submit an up-to-date business plan for restoring and using the house that made the case as well as possible. The GLA indicated that it was awaiting this prior to any decisions being made. For any decision to demolish a listed building to be agreed, it must be shown that all possible avenues for saving the house have been fully explored.
ø Business Plan
The trustees had drawn up a business plan in 2004 as part of their feasibility study, funded by English Heritage, for restoring the house. It set out a comprehensive case for restoring the house for community use, supported by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Further development of a business plan or bid to HLF had been placed on hold after Brent Council’s vote in December 2003 to demolish the house, which withdrew the support of the freeholder that is essential for the bid.
In 2005, the trustees commissioned two independent evaluations of their business plan which found the revenue projections viable. They identified areas for development, which guided the trustees in making further amendments to the plan. Trustees also met with HLF and found that it no longer appeared to be the most suitable route for funding for the house. The main reasons for this were that the emphasis for HLF funding was now to support lower proportions of building costs in relation to officer, materials and activity costs, and that sums exceeding £2 million could not be allocated locally but were decided nationally against many high profile applications.
The trustees’ decision to seek alternative sources of funding enabled the potential uses of the house to be extended beyond the strong heritage core necessary for the bid to HLF. It also involved the trust in amending the business plan. By the end of 2005, it was not ready for submission to Brent Council.
ø Gladstonbury Festival
In June 2005 the trust held its fifth Gladstonbury Festival and Fun Day. It took place on the south side of the park. Through sponsorship, the trust again ran educational and arts outreach programmes with young people who then performed on one of the stages at the festival.