Chairman’s Update 17th August

Hello all,

At a recent Trustees meeting it was decided that the Barlow Institute Charity will not, for the foreseeable future, pursue its interest in securing a Public Works Loan from Blackburn with Darwen, in order to finance a new roof on the Barlow building. The reason for this is very much Community based, we as a community are slowly coming out of Lockdown into a new normal that none of us can accurately define and we are also heading into a potentially long and deep worldwide financial recession and the Trustees feel that this is the wrong time for the Barlow to be imposing any further burden of taxation on members of our community. This does not mean we are abandoning our plans to replace the roof on the building, quite the opposite, as after our overall duty to support the Community, our number 1 priority is to get the building into a state where it is safe and watertight and to get there we are determined to find another way. Work is close to fruition on creating a specification that will pass BwD planning and can be sent out to contractors for proposals, once we have clear and fixed costings for the job we will dig deep into our coffers and find a way to fund it, this will curtail our ability to match fund into the near future but all other works can wait once we have a safe and watertight building.

2020 has been a strange year in many ways but we have been able to fix the crumbling car park, new boilers being installed are imminent, the front fascia of the building will have new double glazed windows hopefully by winter, we have managed to sustain dozens of families within our community with snacks and meals, hundreds of shopping and pharmacy trips have been made by volunteers for folk isolating or shielding, we’ve supported the Cricket Club in creating a wonderful new scoreboard/film screen, we have plans in at BwD for a fantastic new multi-use games arena, and plans are afoot to refurbish the playground area with new and upgraded equipment ……… yes, it’s been a strange year!

A massive effort from so many people over so little time, thank you all!

Mike Fay

mike@thebarlow.co.uk