Update (March 2021)
For Little Cassiobury to become an arts and heritage asset for the community, we will need to draw up a full-scale business plan with detailed architectural drawings. This stage is likely to cost around £500,000 the majority of which we hope to secure from the NHLF. Ongoing support has meant that we already have several thousand pounds towards this target. But the larger our contribution, the greater the likelihood of securing the funding.
Fundraising Initiatives to be announced will include: Easyfundraising - free donations from retailers when you shop online, Supporters Membership; ‘Buy a Brick’ for Little Cassiobury; a concrete (sorry!) memento of your support and ‘Pledge your support’; say now but pay only when the bid is won.
Update (December 2020)
We had hoped to be in a position to apply for what might be the most important stage of funding - the production of a detailed business plan and full supporting architectural drawings. Whilst the National Heritage Lottery Fund has closed application for any other than its emergency grants it has let it be known that the application process will now reopen in March 2021. This allows the CIC to continue it’s slow but steady accumulation of funds towards our target contribution for this next application.
We have also started discussions with a major national organisation concerning support for this application, as well as technical and material advice for the future. After initial discussions we’ve been asked to submit a summary paper and wait to hear back. As the NHLF application process has been suspended until 2021 this may also help us with other potential corporate supporters as our application will fall into a new financial year for many of them.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.