Since our last update the future of our Project to renovate and re-open the school swimming pool for the benefit of the School and the whole community has become in doubt. This is despite the hard work of the Trustees and other volunteers of the Copmanthorpe Community Pool charity to make progress in the many aspects necessary to achieve a start date for the renovation.
Since our August update, grant applications have been submitted to the Postcode Community Trust, the Tudor Trust, and the Garfield Weston Foundation. Unfortunately all three applications were unsuccessful. The Hobson Charity also responded to our March 2020 application to ask that we reapply once we have two thirds of our funds raised. Our applications to Sport England and the National Lottery for grants to cover the majority of costs cannot be submitted as both funders are currently closed to non-Covid-related projects.
We have also been in discussions with Copmanthorpe Primary School Governors and, in May, we presented an update to them after which we were asked to demonstrate that we had 50% of the necessary funding in place by their October meeting. Given the difficulties of fundraising during Covid-19 we appealed against this criterion and the Governors asked instead for a detailed report against three criteria: funding applications, time frames, and project costs. Our detailed 6-page report showed that, whilst some progress is being made, numerous obstacles remain that are beyond the control of the charity. This included major funders not accepting applications for non-Covid-related projects, project timescales being dependent on City of York council processes, and building costs and duration likely to be increased by additional Covid-19 working measures (full report here). Following their October meeting, the Governors decided to withdraw their support for the Project as – in their view – the Project is not viable in the current climate. Without the Governors’ support our Project cannot continue.
We have requested a meeting with the Governors to discuss their concerns on project viability and hope to reverse their decision in the view of the considerable support for the Project expressed by the community survey, the Parish Council (also one of our funders), and Copmanthorpe’s Ward Councillor David Carr.
However, if a Project of this size does continue, it also needs much more support from the community. As the least deprived ward in York, Copmanthorpe may not access as much funding so a significant proportion of total costs will need to come from private and community funding. Given the Project’s uncertain future, are asking for Pledges of future donations rather than donations. Whilst we sincerely appreciate all the support received so far, responses to previous requests for Pledges have been low. If we are to continue, we need as many Pledges as possible. If you are considering making a contribution to the pool, now is the time to do so. Make a Pledge here or by sending your name, address and Pledge (future donation) amount to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop off this information at Copmanthorpe Post Office.