Welcome to the Streatham & Marlborough Sweep (SMS), this is the most important missive of the season so if you only read one, make it this one!

Pavilion Update

A lot has happened in the past year or so on the pavilion project so i'll give an update in a Q&A fashion:

I'm new, what's happened so far?
The current building is in an incredibly poor state, will soon be beyond repair and unusable. It’s a financial drain on the club through constant maintenance and high ongoing costs. Due to its dilapidated state, we are unable to fully utilise or gain additional income via community hirings. This must change for the club to survive and progress. Over the past ten years, we've raised £425,000 through kind member donations and hard won grants, but this is still some way short of the cost of a new building. To bridge this gap, we have historically looked at various options of hosting winter sports, a commercial partner joining us or even the possibility of relocating. A few years ago a commercial partner, in the form of a nursery, emerged as the most realistic option to obtain the remaining capital funding to build a new pavilion-with-nursery. We saw this as our saving grace, but it brought with it more complex planning and lease issues which we have been working through for the better part of the last three years. 

Where are we currently?
In our last update, we reported that we were using the Southwark Pre-Planning service to iron out planning issues regarding our nursery partner. This centred on the addition of the nursery as a commercial entity on the ground (which is protected Metropolitan Open Land) and the increased traffic it would bring to an already busy junction. After lengthy discussions with Southwark and TfL, we were pleased to have agreed a path forward a few weeks ago. In tandem, we were also negotiating the structure of the new lease with Dulwich Estate (our landlord) and the nursery.
And this is where the bad news comes in... the complexity of the required structure and Dulwich Estates' firm stance has proved too difficult for us to agree and this route is no longer an option. A commercial partner had been critical in providing the capital required to fund the shortfall for the pavilion. As a reminder, the nursery were due to invest over £500,000 just in the cricket specific portion of the building and over £2,000,000 in total. This included improvements to the car park and a share of our rent going forward allowing us to quickly pivot to the next key infrastructure projects, the nets facilities. The lack of an agreement with Dulwich Estates has been a massive disappointment, concludes years of (wasted) effort, and again puts the club’s future at risk. 

What next?  
Whilst this is a significant set back, it simplifies our task: we need to bridge a significant financing shortfall and re-design a pavilion which is affordable and suitable for a sports club only. The positive news is that the club is in a far better financial position than at the outset of this project due to the increased membership across the club (particularly the juniors) and having received Covid relief grants. We have built up a small contingency fund and operate with a modest annual surplus. A new building will be more efficient, reducing maintenance costs and increase our hiring potential, bringing it in to year round use. This could also, for example, potentially allow us to borrow against future income streams. 

As a first step, we are re-opening discussions with our funders (Sport England, London Marathon Charitable Trust and the England and Wales Cricket Board) and the Dulwich Estate to explore all avenues and express the urgency of our case. We hope that our funders remain supportive through this set back though we are pushing the boundaries of our time-limited grant awards. A new plan needs to come together quickly to maintain their support.  

How can you help?
Well, currently we are short of capital funding with no pavilion design and the team are struggling to find sufficient appetite to maintain the fight for a project which has been ongoing for ten years... So, we need your help with the following: 

1) An architect to re-design a new pavilion (ideally pro-bono) and lead the planning process. The architect of the current design is employed by our nursery partners. A new architect would not start completely from scratch, as the ECB has very clear design guidelines, and having gone through the pre-app process with the Southwark planners, we also know what they want to see. 
2) An enthusiastic, pro-active member (or members) to join the pavilion committee and help push the project forward.
3) We would ask all members to consider possibilities for other potential regular pavilion users that could provide income going forward. We particularly need ideas with real data, information or genuine potential. For instance, "You should get a yoga class in" is not as useful as "You should get a yoga class in; I explored this and found a suitable candidate who would be willing to pay £X per year". The pavilion is largely unused throughout the winter as a whole and during working hours throughout the year. There must be some opportunity for someone here. 
4) Once we agree a new approach, it is likely that we will need an emergency fundraiser in the coming weeks so please do keep an eye out and donate if you are able.
5) Please consider your wider contacts and think if any of them can provide assistance whether that be financial or in kind.  
6) Anyone with a friendly contact at the Dulwich Estate at Trustee or CEO level would also be useful!

I cannot understate the importance of the next few months in the club's future. Offers of help will be gratefully received!

For more information, please see our Pavilion Project page on our website or get in contact via e-mail.  
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