Bridget Gordon Legacy: update 1

Update Number 1, November 2015

This is the first in a series of updates of developments since the competition for funds from the legacy was launched at the Guild AGM in Chiddingfold on 14 March 2015.
Twelve Stage 1 bids were received by the deadline of 14 June 2015

A full evaluation of all the bids was made by the BRF Sub-Committee and a report and recommendation was presented to the Guild Executive Committee at the meeting held on 15 October 2015. On the basis that legacy grants would equate to around 50% of the project costs, the legacy would fund five of the projects for which bids were received. To these five Send was added as this was Bridget Gordon’s home tower and a small grant only was requested for minor improvements to the bells. The Executive Committee accepted the recommendation which was that six of the applications (i.e. including Send) should proceed to Stage 2; these were Bramley, Byfleet, Godalming, Send, Weston Green and Yorktown.

Letters were sent on 25 October 2015 to all Stage 1 bidders notifying them of the result. The successful towers were informed of requirements for Stage 2 which comprise:

a) Evidence of the commitment of the clergy and PCC to the project.
b) Unconstrained reports and quotations from at least two bell contractors, plus at least two quotations for any other necessary work, leading to fully costed proposals.
c) Plans for making use of voluntary labour to reduce costs.
d) Plans for raising the balance of the funds needed.
e) Evidence of the support in principle of the Diocesan Bells Adviser.
f) Evidence of the support of the local community for the project and the benefit to the church.
g) Evidence that the project can be completed within an acceptable timescale. Plans for making full use of the bells following completion, including maintenance of a Sunday service band, recruitment and training.

They were informed that a two-year time limit has been set for the submission of Stage 2 applications but that information relating to the above can be provided at the time it is available within this timescale. They were also informed that the proportion of legacy funding towards the cost of projects will depend on a number of factors, but will not be less than 50%. This figure was suggested for planning additional fund-raising. A firm offer of a grant is intended following receipt of Stage 2 applications.

Two towers, Chertsey and Holy Trinity, Guildford, were informed that, if any of the six projects selected for Stage 2 fail to go ahead, or fail to meet the requirements for Stage 2, or require rather less than 50% of the estimated costs, they might be able to benefit from some legacy money.

These two and three of the remaining four towers were informed that they could expect to receive normal BRF grants amounting to 20 – 25%, subject to the normal criteria, if their projects go ahead and the fourth was informed that only a small part of the project would qualify for BRF funding.

John Aronson,
Bell Restoration Adviser
13 November 2015