April update

April update –  more funding secured but there’s still a gap

Two weeks ago we explained that, having provisionally secured full funding of the project against the Cost Plan prepared by our professional team, the Main Builder tender returns had subsequently come in much higher than forecast. Therefore a new funding gap had opened which needed to be closed before we could let the contract for the restoration

We quickly moved to close the gap by discussing cost reductions with the Main Building Contractor and by also increasing our funding.

We asked for a further share investment to help us reach our target of £225,000 so that we could secure the Community Share Booster investment of £50,000. We are delighted to announce that the share target was reached and the Booster investment secured. A massive Thank You to those individuals who stepped forward to help us achieve this.

The share investment total is now £275,000 and we have a total of 441 shareholders. We have now closed the Share Offer. The money continues to be held in a designated account awaiting confirmation that the Saving The George project can proceed.

In the last two weeks we have undertaken a major cost reassessment with our chosen main building contractor (Seamans Building) and Quantity Surveyors (Castons). This has lead to significant cost savings in the re-building work without compromising our aims and vision for The George.

However, despite our efforts with both fundraising and cost savings, there still remains a funding gap. This has been discussed with The National Lottery Heritage Fund and we were invited to apply to them for a grant increase to close this gap.

We have submitted a detailed application but understand that because of higher building costs everywhere there are many projects that are now having to do this and that our application will be considered alongside all others.

Guided by estimated costs from our professional team and before the building tender returns came in so high, we had planned that next week we would sign the Main Building Contract to begin the restoration process. Now we need to wait until our additional Heritage Fund application is considered by their assessment panel which is due to meet in June.

This is all very frustrating and as soon as we know the outcome we will let you know.

The George Management Team

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