Lytham Town Trust

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Lytham Assembly Rooms, Dicconson Terrace, Lytham, Lancashire FY8 5JY
Tel: 01253 795229 (24hr Answerphone)

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Chairman's Annual Report - for 2011

In July we received the momentous news that the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a grant of £2.4m towards the restoration of Lytham Hall and the grounds. The project will not only conserve the Hall but will turn it into a major visitor attraction in the North West. Much credit must go to John Miller and his team at Heritage Trust for the North West for all the hard work and professionalism they brought to the compilation of the bid.

There remains much to do. The HLF grant amounts to only 41% of the total sum required. Although the public appeal, supported by the Lytham St Annes Express, exceeded our expectations and we have been much encouraged by the £300,000 contribution from Fylde Borough Council, we still have a substantial amount to raise. Assisting John Miller and HTNW in this task will be the main focus of our energies in the next 12 months.

We incurred a small deficit of £3,230 for the financial year. Last year the deficit was £128,101, a figure inflated by our contribution to the cost of Stage 2 of the HLF bid process. Including the quarterly contributions to the upkeep of Lytham Hall, which are only partly funded by income from the Endowment Fund, we have paid slightly more than £175,000 to HTNW for Lytham Hall over the last two financial years.

Although our cash deposits look superficially healthy at £1.2m, £740k of this is represented by the Endowment Fund and £200k by a designated fund for Lytham Hall. £100k of this latter amount has already been committed as matched funding for the HLF grant. Allowing for the Assembly Rooms maintenance reserve and other commitments leaves us with free cash reserves of only £84k.

There are a number of key challenges that we face over the coming year:

  • As I have already said, principal amongst these is securing the matched funding we need for the Lytham Hall Appeal and seeking corporate donors in particular.
  • Finding a new tenant for the offices at the Assembly Rooms. The commercial property agents, R D Pinkus & Co, have been engaged to help us with this.
  • Deciding how best to maximise the benefit we can obtain from our property 116 Headroomgate, St Annes which is now vacant.
  • Planning for the succession of board members so that, as current board members retire, we ensure that we have new members coming through with similar skills and energy to ensure that the Town Trust continues to be a positive force for the benefit of the local community well into the future.

Finally, I should like to take this opportunity to thank all of my colleagues on the Board, and especially those who have served on the Town Trust and Lytham Hall Executive Committees, for all their hard work and support over the last 12 months.

David Gill

[Annual accounts for 2010 are on the Charity Commission website]
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