Thursday, 13 August 2009

A mountain to climb

Exciting meeting with our good friends at _space yesterday afternoon. The _space Architecture and Management organisation have kindly given us their services to manage the renovation of our West End Youth Enquiry Service (WEYES) building. At last we have verbal planning permission so now _space can start drawing up tender lists and invite interest from construction firms. We won't know an exact price until those bids come back at the end of September but _space estimate it will cost about £350,000 if one firm were to do everything to the best standard and take about 16 weeks work.

The price is a bit of a shock, we have £100,000 for the project so far. The discussion moves on to how to manage the cost. Companies may be willing to sponsor a room or undertake a piece of the work like all the floor coverings or the heating system. We have already had generous offers from other companies of a day's work. We could stipulate materials are purchased from local suppliers in return for a discount. And it may be possible to obtain some grants too such as the Carbon Trust for things that will make the completed building more environmentally friendly. Of course we will acknowledge the support of everyone who helps.

We are very fortunate that actors Tim Healy and Denise Welch have agreed to be celebrity patrons of Children North East and in particular want to support the campaign to raise money for the WEYES renovation. We are hopeful that other people and groups will help us too. At present the WEYES project is in temporary accommodation which is not ideal, the sooner they are back in their former, but newly renovated building the better. So the task is clear - to raise £250,000 in as short a time as possible.

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