WHAT WILL WE DO WITH THE CROWDFUNDER MONEY?
It’s a Good Question
For 3 years the Portobello Central project has run at minimal expenditure, with a small number of grants which have funded specific, important, pieces of work. A key example was the Project Viability Study, funded by the Architectural Heritage Fund, which gave an independent but very positive view of what our prospects were.
We have had grants from the National Lottery and the Portobello & Craigmillar Community Fund, each with their own objectives. We raised our own money, to spend as we saw fit, by producing and selling the Porty Food Map.
Closing In On A Deal
The Town Hall work, which has been continuous for 3 years, was done mainly by the Trustees, past and present but as we move towards the formal step of taking a lease, taking on energy bills, waste management, fire safety licences and much more, we have to employ professionals. Right now a chartered surveyor is reporting on the condition of the building, as a matter of record. Our lawyers are in direct negotiation with those of the Council. We have to pay fees for the Land Registry. Some, but not all, of these costs are covered by grant.
After all that is done, we will be tenants on a 25 year lease, paying £1 a year and responsible for all costs, of whatever kind. It is likely that getting to that stage will have cost us up to £10,000 or so which we don’t currently have.
The New Business
However, the very strong response to our imminent opening confirms our view that we are starting a new business whose books will balance in time. To get to the end of a first financial year in balance will be tough. So, if the funds can be found, we intend to employ a bookings manager to drive the hiring process, as other venues in and around Portobello have. We are about to recruit that person. But if the money isn’t there we either run with a semi-full time volunteer or we delay a year.
Whatever we raise in the Crowdfunder will allow us to have a lift -off fund and a cash flow cushion.
The most awful thing would be to open the doors and have run out of cash in six months.