With good club results at Henley Women’s Regatta and Henley Royal Regatta and others (and there will be a separate Captain’s newsletter soon about that) much of the club’s focus has been on the water. Still, the relentless task of rebuilding is continuing.
Firstly we are delighted to formally announce that we have agreed a deal in principle with the owner of the land that the club is on to buy the freehold from them. The price agreed follows an independent valuation of the land and has been costed into our overall project costs already and we are securing specific grant funding to help with this. Although the conveyancing process has started we have not yet exchanged contracts and therefore we will not be making any more details available at this stage. However, this is a really important step for the club and should give us security on our land in a way that we have never had before. We are grateful to the family involved for their assistance to the club over the years.
On 12th May we announced the plans for the Water Sports Hub (as the boathouse will be) including drawings of the design – if you missed the presentation you can read the announcement and see the plans. We’re excited by the designs as they should allow better boat storage, much better training facilities, better club and social facilities and full disabled access.
Our preliminary submission to Sport England (the lottery funds distributor for sports) has gone well and we will be invited to formally submit a bid to them in September. Sport England staff will be coming out to meet us and discuss the details of the applications. However, a huge amount of work remains if we are to be successful in obtaining the sums we will need for this ambitious project.
Sport England is not our only planned source of funding: in fact we are required to match the Sport England money pound-for-pound. Coupled with Gift Aid (the Government tax scheme that allows tax to be added to your donations) that in effect means that each £1 donated by a tax payer has the effect of adding £2.40 to our target. Donations to the fund (http://www.marlowrowingclub.org.uk/fire) remain hugely important.
We’re conscious that the fundraising projects have not all been as visible as we would like, so we are looking at restructuring the fundraising group to get better involvement. More details will follow, but in the interim please can I remind you about "Row with Redgrave" (14th July – details here: http://www.marlowrowingclub.org.uk/fire-fund/row-redgrave) which is a major attempt to raise money and has the support of Sir Steve Redgrave. We really need to publicise this to as many people as possible to get the update required, but also provide support on the day. If you know of anyone who might pay for the opportunity to row with Sir Steve, please contact Richard Ellwood (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Membership and Finances
The club is likely to operate at a loss this year as the increased costs of temporary operations and loss of bar income hits us. This does not endanger the club but does not help the project funding. Our major source of income is membership fees: We have collected the majority but there are still about 10% of the club who have not paid this year. Please pay your subs (and make a donation on top to the fire fund, if you can). The rules are clear: no subs, no rowing. We will publish lists of paid and unpaid members: please read them and challenge anyone you see at the club who don’t appear on the “paid” list.
Incidentally, if you miss the bar come along to the club on Friday nights at 8pm where the Bar Committee are still operating a temporary bar (adult members + guests only, of course)
Legal & Governance Changes
As mentioned in my previous email, at the EGM there was a mandate to transfer the club operations into a company limited by guarantee operating as a charity. That process has been put in motion but will take at least 2 months, probably more. We will keep you informed.