December 2019

UPDATE FROM THE BARLOW TRUSTEES DECEMBER 2019

 A lot has happened since our last update issued in September.  Significantly the Board has been strengthened with the appointment of two new Trustees – Guy Haynes and Kerry Holt and a Secretary –Andy Tighe.  We very much welcome all three and the extra support and expertise which they bring.

Unfortunately, for personal reasons, Peter Russell stepped down in October. We are very sorry to lose him and thank him for his excellent contribution to the Board.

Looking ahead we are delighted to announce that Mike Fay is to become the new Chair in January. 

The Board has also agreed to pilot three open meetings in the New Year which anyone will be welcome to attend.

Like the Parish Council the first 15minutes of each meeting will be time allocated for questions or comments about Agenda items or any other matters which residents would like to raise.

Hopefully this approach will encourage more people to become involved in the Barlow and gain an insight into the role of both the Trustees and volunteers.  Who knows perhaps you might even like to join us?  New volunteers are always welcome.

It should also remove the need for anyone to feel that they must post false, misleading or abusive Social Media comments, whilst hiding their true identity behind fantasy or fictitious names, which unfortunately has been the case in recent months.  Instead they will now have the opportunity to openly discuss issues with the Trustees face-to-face.

The Board has also recently reviewed the volunteer run Interim Management Team which continues to make progress and is now responsible for the day to day running of the Barlow.

The management team is fully supported by the Trustees and has been largely welcomed by the volunteers.  We look forward to its continued development and any changes introduced to improve the Barlow’s future offering to the Community.

On the Funding front we are awaiting the outcome of bids to Viridor, Veolia and the Post Code Lottery Fund and have recently had discussions with the National Lottery about the possibility of making a new application.

Currently we are continuing to develop a full Business and Funding Strategy part of which will include Crowd Funding. A number of local residents have been encouraging us to go down this route and some have pledged sums of up to £1,000 in support.

We are hoping that we can to get this off the ground early next year.

Meanwhile we are still working with the Parish Council to obtain a Public Works Loan of up to £250,000 towards the cost of a new roof.  However, currently NTPC is taking advice to ensure that this can be achieved legally before any further progress can be made.

The volunteers, as always, have continued to do an excellent job raising funds by supporting and organising events at the Barlow.  A few recent examples include the Beer Festival, Halloween Night, Mountain Music, One Foot in the Groove Christmas Party, Kids Mini Cinema and the Christmas Tree Lights Switch-On.

There are more events before Christmas to look forward to including Christmas Frolics and in January/February the ever popular pantomime – Aladdin.  Find information and tickets for all events at www.thebarlow.co.uk/whats-on.

 The Folk Festival in October was yet again a huge success and we would like to record our appreciation to Bromley Cross Folk Club for donating the profits from this event which this year amounted to a fantastic £3,400.  Thanks also to the Friends of the Barlow who have continued to support us throughout the year.

We would also like to thank you all for your continued support throughout the year. The Barlow is there for everyone to enjoy, whatever their age, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Finally we hope that you all have a Very Happy Christmas and Wish you all the best throughout Next Year 2020.

 Stephen Danks, on behalf of Barlow Trustees 3rd December 2019

FRIENDS OF THE BARLOW

Blackburn with Darwen Council handed over the running and upkeep of The Barlow to the community in 2013. Since then The Barlow Charity has relied upon the generosity of benefactors and income from users of the facilities, plus the efforts of volunteers to sustain this much valued community facility. Significant improvements have been carried out to help ensure a long-term future, including a new roof, replacement windows, new hygienic worktops in the coffee shop kitchen and a new hot water & heating system. Most recently (summer 2022) the renovation of the outdoor veranda has been completed and a new adjacent decking area has been installed. In addition the snooker room has been restored to its former splendour by a small group of volunteers.

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An important source of funding that has contributed to the above mentioned improvements is The Friends of the Barlow scheme.  By becoming a Friend you can contribute to a fund that is used for repairs and renovations to the structural fabric of the building and pathways etc, and to upgrade, refresh and improve facilities e.g. now that the building is once again weathertight there are plans being drawn up for the main hall can be deep-cleaned, re-decorated and refurbished and other water-damaged areas such as the main stairway & its beautiful large, stained glass window to also be restored to their former glory.

As a Friend of The Barlow, your regular donations provide a much appreciated, steady income stream that to date (summer 2022) has raised in the region of over £40,000, which has been mostly used contributing towards paying for the roof, windows and heating system.
We intend to soon publish the overall list of improvements/tasks and from that you will see that there is a significant amount of expenditure still needed to achieve all of the identified tasks and improvements. We would welcome donations/sponsorship for specific items that may be of particular interest to individuals or families or groups, but the regular donations by Friends of The Barlow are also crucial. Therefore, we welcome any and all new donors and are grateful for whatever amount you choose to donate.

We are of course also very grateful to all of our existing Friends of The Barlow and if you are able to increase your monthly donation by any amount, that would be hugely appreciated – you can either make the increase to your standing order directly with your bank or you can complete a new form and send it to your bank or give it to us to process.

Please also consider increasing the value of your donation at no extra cost to you by using Gift Aid – as an example, an £8 donation from you becomes £10 with the Gift Aid add-on!

If you wish to donate please click on the link below, complete the form and either send it to your bank with an email copy to our email address fotb@thebarlow.co.uk  or return the completed form to the Barlow’s office in a sealed envelope addressed to Friends of The Barlow.  Paper copies of the form are available from The Barlow.

For any further information please email fotb@thebarlow.co.uk or contact the office via info@thebarlow.co.uk or 01204 852216.

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