Bellfield Update – Opening Delayed Until June 2018
Posted on: October 4th, 2017
Dear Action Porty Members and Supporters,
Thank you so much for all your support so far, both in helping us purchase the building through the right to buy process, and in your support for our Crowdfunder.
On Sunday the Action Porty Board met with our new Development Managers, who have extensive experience developing community heritage projects similar to Bellfield, and who reported back to us on the assessments of the building that Action Porty had commissioned prior to taking ownership of Bellfield.
Having reviewed these assessments and reports, it is clear that the outstanding issues which need to be dealt with prior to opening are many more than we had anticipated.
We had hoped that after a few months of ownership we would be able to have the doors open in January 2018, but have now understood that the situation is more akin to opening new premises, in the sense that we need to bring certain facilities up to modern building standards, and deal with issues concerning electrics, boilers, fire doors, asbestos, etc, on top of the issues we had already anticipated.
As guardians of the building for the community, we now recognise that the opening of Bellfield to community use cannot safely take place in January 2018, but will have to be delayed until June 2018. In the light of this we are developing an effective three stage plan to:
(1) complete the necessary work on the buildings so that they can open safely and effectively in June 2018;
(2) have a two year period from June 2018 where the buildings will be used much as they have been in the recent past;
(3) by the end of those two years have the funding, permissions and capacity to develop the buildings and grounds in ways that create an even more wonderful community hub.
We appreciate that there is a lot of interest in booking Bellfield for events, parties etc, and while we hope to be able to respond positively to requests for events after June, we are looking into the implications of this and will be providing further information in a couple of months time.
We are really sorry that the re-opening of Bellfield to the community will have to be delayed, but we are committed to ensuring a safe and sustainable venue.
Thank you again for all of your fantastic support so far,