Gotham Memorial Hall Update

The following is a statement prepared by the Trustees to provide an update on progress to date combined with their proposals relative to the next stage of the Hall’s redevelopment. There are some key and salient points that the Trustees’ wish to convey relating to the future use and occupation of this building:

  • This is first and foremost an insurance claim and no doubt you have seen the progress so far to get our Memorial Hall back up and running after the devastating fire last year. We appointed Mike Boast of Gateley Smithers Purslow to be our Project Manager, a requisite of the insurance claim, to work alongside our insurer’s representative. Their task is to reinstate the hall back to how it was before the fire and the insurance will cover this cost but it also feels like an ideal opportunity to update, where possible, the interior of the hall. Any additional work will have to be paid for by The Gotham Memorial Hall & Recreation Ground Trust hard earned funds. So far we have installed in-built Solar Panels in the new roof.
  • The Memorial Hall has, for a long time, struggled to fill and utilise all the building on a regular basis despite
    offering a range of different uses for various groups. With the loss of income from the library, which was
    unlikely to re-open owing to the extremely low attendance, we would lose £4,000 annual rent.
  • Interest from the Doctors on possibly leasing more rooms to extend the surgery had already been raised before the fire, as they need to be able to provide more clinical space and medical provisions. Following an expressionof interest in purchasing the freehold of the surgery area, after much lengthy debate amongst all the trustees, it was decided that we should sell the extended part of the building (old youth centre) to the Orchard Surgery Practice whilst keeping the original Memorial Hall. Orchard Surgery will, in addition to paying a surveyor-valued sale price, pay an annual service maintenance charge with an inflation-linked increase. This will help to securethe future financial security we need. With the welcomed help of Rex Walker, the Trustees secured the servicesof a Solicitor who has helped us through the complicated and legal details that the Charity Commission requiredbefore sanctioning the sale. Accordingly the Charity Commissioners have confirmed that the Trustees have actedcompletely in accordance with our Governing Document dated 2005 and Charity Law. The CharityCommissioners have reiterated (again according to our Scheme) on how the income from the sale must beinvested.

It may seem that not much has been happening, but behind the scenes the trustees have done a tremendous amount of work involving re-structuring and ensuring the future viability of our Memorial Hall.

With the roof re-instated, the interior dried out and planning permission approved, we now need to concentrate on the interior layout to ensure it meets future needs within the limited funding available.

We will be holding a meeting on Thursday 25th April 2024 at St Lawrence Church, commencing at 7 pm. All Gotham residents are invited.

This will give everyone the chance to meet Gotham Memorial Hall Trustees and Doctors from Orchard Surgery. You will be able to see plans which have been made to modernise the Hall and suggestions would be welcomed as to what else could be done to improve the appeal of the Hall for future generations.

The Orchard Surgery would like to thank the community for your ongoing support and patience with our team as we try to work towards re-establishing our GP practice back in the Memorial Hall. We have made great progress so far with the support of the Trustees, and hope that the recent opening of our temporary Dispensary back on site at the Bowls Club is benefiting as many people as possible.

Orchard Surgery and the Practice team have been serving, supporting and caring for the Gotham community for generations. We are passionate about the opportunity to restore and protect health care locally and we hope that, if approved, the proposed expanded footprint will allow the growth and investment needed to protect the ongoing provision of high-quality health care within the Village.

The practice is genuinely excited and optimistic about the new and ongoing medical services that we aim to offer the Gotham community.

A copy of the planning documents can be found at:

(reference 23/02077/FUL)

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