It was nice to see a number of Lympstone residents attending the September Village Hall AGM. During discussions some excellent topics were raised regarding areas for improvement
both in terms of facilities and Hall management. One point raised by some clubs and societies is that they consider that hire charges are considered expensive. The Trustees are very much aware that the Hall is a community facility, however, equally hire charges need to be balanced against the Hall running costs.
As a reminder to all, LVH is a CIO or charitable incorporated organisation, a form of business designed for charitable organisations. There is no major difference in how the Hall needs to run now compared to days gone by, but of course the Hall must not run at a loss otherwise it will gradually fall into a state of disrepair. The Hall is principally a facility for the community of today as well as for future generations.
So, what does it cost to run and maintain Lympstone Village Hall ? The charity is required to maintain a cash reserve of £35,000 or 6-months turnover. Should there be another event like Covid and the Government is no longer able to support us with grants or subsidies then that reserve would quickly disappear. In the fiscal year 2023/24 we forecast Annual Turnover at £70,000 versus Expenditure of £65,000, a net profit of £5,000. A summary of our forecast annual expenditure is, (significant items only):
Gas and Electricity £6,500
Contract Cleaning £5,000
General Maintenance £5,500
Project Costs £15,600
Other Contractor Fees £10,000
Licences and Subscriptions £2,000
Other Costs £9,400
Any profit the Hall makes is typically reinvested in the Hall by way of Capital Improvement Projects. Examples of these are:
2023/2024 Tennis Clubhouse (£15,600). 50% shared cost with the Lympstone Tennis Club;
2024/2025 Commercial kitchenupgrade (£20,000);
2025/2026 Community Access Project (£95,000 quoted, grants will be required)
Currently the CIO cash reserves sit at £60,000, but with the kitchen upgrade the reserve will drop back to £40,000.
The above projects clearly demonstrate that LVH is a community-focused organisation. The need for the new tennis facility speaks for itself since the Lympstone Tennis Club previously had no proper changing facility to accommodate members and casual players or provide suitable facilities for competitive interclub matches. Membership of the Tennis Club stands at 148; 96 adults, 52 Juniors and Students. The kitchen upgrade has been driven by the school catering company’s need to prepare and cook childrens’ lunches at the Hall. The caterer’s remote facility
cannot handle the sheer volume of meals required for all of the schools they supply. The plan is to complete the upgrade before March 2024. Presently only LVH is contributing funds for this project. Community Access Project – this project plan aims to significantly improve the access between Candy’s Field and the Hall car park, a thoroughfare used by parents and school children as well as access for the general public moving between the upper and lower village areas. Currently this area is not access friendly for pedestrians never mind for wheeling pushchairs or disabled access, (particularly at this time of year).
Finally, the good news for most Hall users is that our current financial position will allow us to maintain the 2023 pricing into the 2024/25 financial year. The only exception to this will be
where there is a need to continue to standardise prices by removing historic discounts. We hope that the above information provides greater insight into the Hall finances and reassures you that the CIO is focussed on projects that support the community whilst still maintaining an excellent recreational facility for Lympstone.