NORTHIAM VILLAGE HALL TRUST
Frewen Close, Main Street, Northiam, East Sussex, TN316RA Registered Charity Number 269218
Report of the Trustees for the financial year ended 31 December 2022
The land on which Northiam village hall now stands was purchased by the community in 1971 from two local landowners/farmers. A Trustwas established at that time to hold the land, to arrange for the hall to be built, and then to manage the site for the benefit of the village. Construction of buildings started in 1975, following the disposal of parcels of land on which were built the six Frewen Close bungalows which provided the financial wherewithal to construct the hall. Over the following 25 years the hall building was extended to provide additional meeting rooms and storage space, and the whole facility is now believed to be one of the largest village halls in EastSussex.
The buildings and surrounding land are now held in trust by the Charity Commission's Official Custodian, on behalf of the localcommunity. A management committee (Northiam Village Hall Trust) has responsibility for the day-to-day running of the hall, governed by the Trust Deed established in 1971, which set the original goal of providing a village hall for use by the community, with the ongoing objective of improving the conditions of life for Northiam residents. The Trust is a registered charity, regulated by the Charities Commission, and answerable to the local community each year at an Annual General Meeting. Trustees are appointed each year at the AGM, either elected by the community or nominated by local groups that use the hall.
As of 31 December 2022 the Trust comprised 12 Trustees:
Keith Whiting (Chair); Christine Palmer (Secretary); Sylvia Wickens (Bookings Secretary); Bernie Bone (Treasurer); MargaretDavies; John Fenton; Sarah Giles; John Palmer; Richard and Sandra Robinson; Pete Sargent, and Sue Schlesinger.
The Trust generates its income from rentals paid by hall users, supplemented by donations and fund-raising activities. Running costsabsorb most of the income but, where there is a surplus, this is used to contribute towards hall improvements. Where appropriate, grants from other bodies are accessed by the Trust, but all monies raised, whatever the source, are used in maintaining or improving thevillage hall.
The Covid-19 pandemic significantly affected the Trust's finances for the years 2020 and 2021 with the lockdowns and other restrictions meaning that many of our regular social groups and other users were unable to use the hall buildings In the normal way. During those two years very limited use was made of the hall, leading to severely reduced income for the Trust. 2022 has seen areturn to more normal levels, comparable to pre-pandemic levels, albeit a cautious return for the first few months of 2022.
For the financial year ended 31 Dec 2022 our rental income was £15,312, which compares very favourably with 2021 (£6,370), but still short of our pre-pandemic income in 2019 of
£19,914. Day to day running costs of £12,851 were below 2021 costs of £15,753, although
the latter included some of that year's building improvement costs. As with 2021, our costs were substantially lower than 2019 (£16,953).
The surplus in 2022, which includes grants of £12,667 and income from a number of fund raising activities, provided the resources to enable us to continue our programme of major improvements to the hall facilities, which we started in 2020. During 2022 we have completely re-laid the paths along the North side of the hall, replaced the paddock fencing and gate, re laid the floor in the Jenkins Room, and made great strides in bringing back into use the old committee room behind the stage, which for 20 years or so has beenused as a storage space. This has been a major undertaking, involving creating a new external door access and accessibility ramp, reinstating a toilet facility, as well as upgrading the electrics and heating to the rear-stage area. The project will be completed in early 2023. It has only been possible with the substantial financial assistance of Rother District Council, The National Lottery Community Fund, and Northiam Parish Council.
We suffered some damage during Storm Eunice in February 2022, which destroyed a storage shed, and caused some damage to our heating control system. We were able to restore the heating control and access system with only a couple of days closure, andthe loss of the shed turned into a blessing as it enabled us to rethink the use of land behind the hall.
Hon Treasurer Northiam Village Hall Trust
Chair, Northiam Village Hall Trust