I was going to write a blog about Onion New Year Resolutions, but since we are already half way through January and my running shoes are still brand new in their box, I still forget when my children have swimming and I accidentally ate all the chocolate in a 10 mile radius I thought bah! Resolutions schmesolutions. So, these are less New Year resolutions and more a Plan of Action! For the coming year (she says, whilst munching on a twix thoughtfully):
Little less conversation, a little more action
2014 was all about ideas, collecting information, opinions, possibilities and planning. This year we are itching to start doing. It’s probably fair to say that the East Quay project is a long term proposal; it will take time to negotiate the land and to raise the capital funds. So whilst we keep pushing for this project to move forward, we will simultaneously be working on smaller projects that will effectively tie in to the longer term plan. One of those projects is to begin building our ‘Maker Community’. We are a partner in West Somerset District Council’s Our Place project, and will be developing projects around skill swapping, upskilling and traditional rural skills. We are currently exploring potential projects on Splash Point, as well as looking at ways in which makers can regularly meet and interact. If you would like to be part of this please do get in touch (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Boat Museum in full sail
Plans for the boat museum and visitor centre are quietly steaming ahead, we are working closely with Louise Crossman Architects and our Quantity Surveyor to ensure that the designs are as cost effective as possible. We are also working closely with Watchet Town Council regarding the possibility of co-locating services and how to best use the space for the benefit of the town, and with West Somerset District Council regarding an Asset Transfer agreement for the site. All going well, we are aiming for the build to start later this autumn, in time to open for the start of the 2016 season.
Understanding your thoughts
We will be running a number of meetings in February to better understand your thoughts about the proposals. Which bits are you excited about? Are there elements which you are unsure of? Are you interested in getting involved? Do you know people that might want to get involved? And so on. So, we will let you know as soon as those dates are set. Keep posted.
Coastal Walkways and Community Centre
In answer to a few of your questions, the community centre proposals will be worked up in time to apply for the ‘Hinkley Real’ money, ie when the next phase of the Hinkley Point C mitigation monies become available, which we estimate won’t be for 2 or 3 years yet. Although this seems like a long way away, it is impossible for us to complete all four regeneration proposals simultaneously; therefore we have time-lined the proposals to fit with when the most relevant funding proposals become available. Equally the coastal walkways project is also time-lined to co-inside with the most relevant European funding streams.
As flippant as this sounds, it would be really great find a way to earn some money along the way. We were lucky enough to receive 6 months’ worth of funding to pay for a small part of our work from April last year from the Social Investment Business, (effectively so we could dedicate more time to this than our ‘day jobs’) but which has long since dried up. So no, we are categorically not in this for the money. (An accusation we have been subjected to more than a few times!) To quote Sam Smith we ‘do it for the love’. This is our town and we believe in it and wholeheartedly want to make it a better place for our kids to grow up in. Having said that, working for free is tricky when you have mortgages to pay and kids to buy things for and husbands who won’t quit saying ‘you’re not getting paid for this remember’. So I’m staying with ‘getting paid’ as a New Year resolution. Let’s hope it fairs better than my running shoes!