This is just a quick summary for those who couldn’t join the Members Q&A Sessions this week.
- Building Reopening / Fire Update / Rent Payments
As of yet we don’t have a date for when the building will re-open after the electrical fire that occured on the 23rd of March
We have been in constant communication with the Landlord in regards to the closure of the building and the situation regarding payment of rent the current situation and we have been advised of the following
Dear Occupants, Further to my previous email, we have been chasing building insurers to provide estimated timescales on when the claim will be processed and electricity to the building reinstated. Unfortunately, we have not heard back from the insurers yet as they continue their investigations and therefore we are unable to provide any timescales on when the power will be reinstated. Please be assured this is being dealt with as a priority and we will update all occupants as soon as we have any information.
In the meantime, it has been brought to our attention that some occupants continue to access the building despite our instructions not to. I must stress out that it is prohibited to access Wellington House until further notice due to the fact that there is no electricity and no fire detection.
Further to the above email we sent a more formal email in regards to rent payment and access for those to collect belongings the email below is the response
Under the lease (4.22) It states that if we cannot use the building due to damage beyond our control we may pay a reduction in rent. - Can you advise what is being done in regards to this and will this be reflected in the rent invoice for this/next month?
The reference in Clause 4.22 within your Lease is in relation to the “Property” as Unit 1, Room 1, Wellington House, [i.e. your unit]. The entitlement for reduced rent is only in the case when your unit would have been damaged or destroyed. This is unfortunately irrelevant since the issue lies with the building and damage caused by fire.
Once we have confirmation of our insurance claim, the likelihood is that the Landlord will submit a loss of rent claim, to cover the period from when the fire occurred until the electricity is reinstated. Subject to this being approved, the rent would be not be due for the applicable period and would resume once the electricity supply is restored. That said, until we have further clarity from the insurers we cannot confirm that this will be agreed, however, that is our intention.
Should the claim be successful, the rent will be credited from the date of the building close and any payments made since will be used to pay your future invoices.
Access for Essential Items - Some of our members have items stored within the space that they need to access to remove to their own homes, we completely understand that we cannot access the building due to the lack of electricity or fire detection but can we arrange for items to be collected on certain dates.
Fire authorities have advised that occupants may enter their demises [at their own risk] for a short period of time in order to collect any goods / valuables or secure their premises.
Once we have a clear indication from the insurers, we will be in touch with a further update as soon as we are able.
We will be issuing more details next week (From the 11th May) on when people will be able to access the space to collect belongings
Membership levels current sit at 155 active paying members with an average membership fee of £15. This level allows us to cover costs associated with the space (Rent, Service Charge, General Running costs)
However the current level of membership is very close to our break even line and we are encouraging those who can continue to support the space through membership . We have an incentive for this see the finance section of this update
Membership Levels have fallen a lot in the light of the closure of the space / COVID-19. compared to this time last year the graphs below show this in some more detail
At the moment the current membership level allows us to cover the costs associated to the space but this at a critical level and further dropoff in membership will cause us to run at an operating loss
We do however have a financial safety net from the Council Business Rate COVID-19 Grant. This will allow us to operate should membership levels drop any further.
The Space currently has no outstanding debts and have repaid anything that was owed due to the situation over the previous years business rates
As an Incentive for continuing your membership during this time the board have agreed that 50% of the remaining grant funding at the end of the lockdown period will be committed to completing the build out (Metalwork wall and snackspace) alongside providing funds to each area (Metalworking, Visual Arts, Electronics and Woodworking) for new equipment
A Copy of the Powerpoint used during the call can be found below
Hackspace Members Presentation May 2020.pdf (485.1 KB)
Any Questions please contact the board on firstname.lastname@example.org