Your Help is Needed (July 2020)
As you may well know, with Lottery funding, we have recently completed an Outline Business Plan for Little Cassiobury. We now have a report that says there could be a home for the creative arts in Watford. The next major step is to demonstrate how this will happen, and we should be able to convince the current owners to part with the property. This is where your help is needed.
It is vital to know what the groups and individuals who may want to use such a home will want from it. We know this will provide a better future for the House than if we alone said which services, facilities and courses should be available. This is your opportunity to let us know what you think.
The House is deteriorating, and with other uses too difficult and too expensive this may be the last chance to turn this House into a community resource. Indeed, it may well be the last opportunity to save it at all.
Please do let us have your thoughts by email email@example.com
Richard Ahrens (June 2020)
It is with great sadness that we have to advise of the death of Richard Ahrens, who died peacefully in his sleep on 10th June, his wife and daughter were with him at the end. He had surgery for bladder cancer in February, but further inoperable conditions developed leading to kidney failure.
Richard was the 'founder of Friends of Little Cassiobury’, now Little Cassiobury CIC, if it were not for him, this building could have remained unnoticed until it finally became too dilapidated to save. He was our chairman for a number of years, but stepped down due to ill health although remained a supporter.
He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with Sue and his family at this sad time.
Update (April 2020)
Even in these trying circumstances there are things that we have been able to do to press on with the House. In this case we’ve been looking at the VAT implications for the services we might offer as well as the legal implications of taking on a Grade II* building. Once these are completed we will submit our evaluation report and the Options Study and Outline Business plan bringing us to the end of this grant.
The next stage has been defined by the recent notification from the NLHF that new applications (for the grant we will be particularly interested in) will not be taken until October 2020 at the earliest, which potentially, is of a concern to other projects rather than ours.
Completion of Options Survey (March 2020)
We are absolutely delighted to report that having now completed our 54 Page Options Survey and Outline Business Plan it provides evidence that Little Cassiobury is a genuine, viable option for a creative arts centre serving both Watford and the surrounding areas. A very big thank you to all of those who have contributed to the technical work required to draw up the report but also to all those who have met or spoken with us or our project and business planning team, as well as to all those whose continuing support has made it possible for us to reach this point.
We still have a number of other matters to complete before we can fulfil all our obligations under the Resilience Grant and we confidently expect to have these done by the end of April.
Perhaps most importantly, the key result of completing this plan by virtue of having a National Lottery Heritage Resilience Grant means that we now have the confidence to take the next, and final step, to bring the House into community use. More of our plans for this later.
But for now, let me say once again how important to us, and to the future of the House, has been the excellent support we’ve received so far.