Fund raising News Article
Published: 17th June 2010
ESPINOSA CHUTE CENTRE
Our beautiful Performing Arts Centre is in need of your help. Since our last mail out to all the wonderful friends, families and students of Bank Mill, we have had great feedback with many professionals offering their assistance to give the new venture the best possible start.
THE FOFE FOUNDERS: The names of those who have stepped in to help us financially by joining the Friends of Espinosa Scheme are on the attached list. Our first 25 individuals, who showed their faith in the project from the outset, will be known as the FOFE FOUNDERS – our aim and hope is that the remaining 25 places will be taken up in response to this letter!
THE BANKS: Despite great interest, verbal support, congratulations on excellently presented Business Plans, Financial Data, Projections, Research etc, we have only succeeded in receiving a conditional offer of 50K per Bank – and then only once the whole building is completed! The Enterprise Finance Grant, championed as the saviour for small business development, has proved to be a Red Herring, with many banks using any means possible to deny its applicability.
THE NEW FUNDING APPROACH: With a distinct danger of the entire Team joining me with bus passes before the Banks change their mind, we are starting a vigorous campaign of fundraising through our private contacts.
Our first objective is to secure an opening date, by concentrating on financing Phase 2 of the project which involves completing the Entrance, Reception, Coffee Bar, Studio 1, Cardio Gym, all four Therapy Rooms, plus changing rooms and showers. With these areas open we can install our complementary Therapists, Yoga & Pilates classes, Belinda’s Vibra Gym, Lucy’s Beauty Salon and Personal Trainers into their state of the art premises. Amazingly, the electricians, plumbers and builders are able to complete all this work within a startling 4 weeks. The final phase to complete the remaining studios and Theatre will follow straight on.
As an independent institution we are not eligible for many of the usual avenues of funding such as The Lottery, Arts Council, and Foundations. Whilst keeping discussions open with financial institutions, we feel we are more likely to attract private investment from within our community and particularly from families of our current students who understand the value and viability of such a unique business in the specific confines of Berkhamsted.
This opinion is supported by our local MP, David Gauke: “One of the big problems that we have seen in recent years has been the reluctance of the banks to lend to small businesses and….the difficulties faced by the Espinosa Centre highlights the issue…. If the numbers stack up and this project could get off the ground, it would certainly be a big plus for Berkhamsted.”
During a very productive meeting with Mr Gauke, we requested his intervention at both the local and governmental level to increase financial support of the Arts and projects such as ours. We are delighted that as a “music man” himself, he supports our endeavours to bring together arts based businesses in his constituency, and referred to plans under discussion to encourage financial support for projects of this nature. He will be visiting the Centre on 25th June to see the Espinosa Chute Centre and to meet the Fofes and new Tenants.
OUR PATRONS: We are eternally thankful to our wonderful Patrons who continue to open doors to highly placed individuals in the Arts Sector. We are delighted to add Jenny Agutter to our illustrious list of supporters who will also be visiting the building shortly to lend her support.
WHO IS THE ESPINOSA CHUTE CENTRE?: You can see all the names of all the Tenants who have contracts to hire space in the new centre together with a brief synopsis of who and what they are bringing to the Centre by looking at our new Website which will be launched within the next week.
THE OPENING EVENT: We aim to make our official opening date 3rd September, marked with a Cultural Festival called “The Big One” where arts based organizations from Berkhamsted and the surrounding areas will be invited to join us in a 3 day event full of fun. There will be guided tours, exhibitions, taster events, presentations and performances showcasing the Espinosa Chute Centre and all the activities and personalities associated with it.
Friday Trade Day will bring together retailers and organizations working in the community to promote a healthy and inspiring networking environment. The Weekend Event will see the Espinosa Chute Centre throw open its doors to the general public to advertise and promote the wide range of classes; invite visitors to watch and participate in taster sessions; introduce therapists and personal trainers to their future clients; and, inspire our youth with snippets of Street Dance, Theatre, Singing, and much more. Can you possibly afford to miss it?
As a pre launch event, we will also be inviting all the families and friends of Bank Mill to attend “The Little One” - where we will offer popular holiday classes and courses for children in the current studio, as well as therapy treatments for parents under our Marquee in the car park. “The Little One” will give everyone a chance to find out more about “The Espinosa” while enjoying refreshments, taster sessions and demonstrations of its forthcoming activities.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
In order to make our opening date, we need to complete our Friends of Espinosa Scheme and to raise funds. Please consider any of the following ways to help us reach our build target as quickly as possible, so we can reach our deadlines:
FOFE membership (see attached sheet) – Friends of Espinosa will deposit £2000 (refundable in full in one year). Benefits include, 10% off Bank Mill Dance Fees, 10% off studio hire costs to a maximum of £260 per year, VIP status with invitations to all Espinosa VIP functions, and free entry to observe Master Classes.
Tenants Investment Plan – Tenants may invest an agreed sum and gain 10% return in the form of studio hire. This is extremely useful for those starting new classes who have Savings earning little or no return in Banks.
Investment Offer – We offer 7% return on investment payable quarterly in arrears.
Buy a Theatre Seat – Would you like to give your loved one a place to sit and enjoy all our wonderful events? For £200 you will have the name and date of your choice engraved in a plaque on one of our 52 luxurious Balcony theatre seats.
The Hands On Wall! – For those who have yet to visit the building, we have the perfect place for your little ones to leave their handprints. Donations will be gratefully received, however small, from those who want to be forever part of our beautiful Centre.
At this stage it leaves me with nothing further to say but Thank You for reading this document and most of all for caring enough for the Arts and for the work we do, to allow me and my great team of staff, the endless pleasure of teaching you and your inspiring families.
With my sincerest thanks
Author: Espinosa Chute Centre
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