Blog > Our resolution? Raise all the funds to start our major heritage project

Our resolution? Raise all the funds to start our major heritage project

“New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” Mark Twain

So, according to Mark Twain, we should be well on the way along the road to good intentions!

However, at Oxford House we have set our sights higher than good intentions. Why? Well, November 2016 was the date we submitted our detailed application to Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for our project, ‘From Victorian Gap Year to Community Hub.’

The project will tackle a serious repairs backlog and provide a new roof, repairs to all windows, new entrance & café opening onto the Pocket Park and a new lift. It includes a major upgrade to the 3rd floor where we will repair and reopen the chapel and create a new community learning space plus provide new toilets. We will also restore access to the roof via a new spiral staircase. The roof walk will provide amazing 360 degree views of the City and the East End. We will also upgrade vital infrastructure such as boilers, and CCTV.

Alongside the building works we will provide a 2 ½ years programme of events and activities for all ages. We will create this by working with arts organisations based in OH. The programme will include workshops, festivals, exhibitions and talks. There will be volunteering and training opportunities too.

All very exciting. So, what next?

Well, we will hear in mid-March if our application has been successful. We are crossing fingers, legs, arms. You name it.

It doesn’t finish there though. We still need to fundraise to match our request for a HLF grant of £1.39m. As the total project will cost is almost £2.79m we still have to raise a further £1.4m. So far, we have raised almost £900,000 leaving £600,000 to raise in 2017/18. It’s a challenge! However we have identified key charitable trusts and foundations to apply for grants. In February we will also start a crowdfunding campaign for the chapel works so watch out for further details on how you can support us.

If we meet our fundraising target then we will start detailed design work throughout 2017 and appoint a contractor who will start on site in April 2018. The building works will take 9 -12 months. We are aiming for a grand ‘reopening’ in Easter 2019.

As you can see it’s a massive year for Oxford House. Our future rests on raising the funds to make this dream a reality.

How can you help? Well, spread the word and tell everyone about our plans. You can also donate to our crowdfunding campaign. Keep up to date with news via our website, Facebook or Twitter.

Thank you, as ever, for your support.

John Ryan

PS make a note in your diary for Easter 2019. You don’t want to miss the grand reopening.


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