PRESS STATEMENT 8th December 2010
Trustees and management of Hastings Trust are clearly delighted with the confirmation from Tim Loughton MP that the capital funding for Myplace has been safeguarded and that the proposed scheme for St Mary in the Castle has the opportunity to go forward, despite the odds.
However, it is clear that in the 12 months since the submission of the capital delivery plan and the business plan to BIG Lottery (who are administering the funding on behalf of HM Government) the economic and funding climate has significantly changed. The impact of public sector funding cuts on the in-principle commitments that partners made to seeing the scheme taken forward must be appreciated, along with the impact of wide-ranging austerity measures on the potential users and supporters of the facility. We will need to work closely with our Borough and County colleagues to re-assess the sustainability of our scheme in the light of this new financial climate.
We are confident that by working together we can find an appropriate way in which this ambitious and much-needed development can be taken forward, and we will be seeking an early meeting with partners to consider our options.
Hastings Trust, working in partnership with young people, the community, public and third sectors, was awarded and in-principle grant of £4.25m from HM Government’s Myplace programme to develop world-class youth arts and cultural facilities at St Mary in the Castle. A capital delivery plan and business plan were submitted in September 2009 in order to ‘unlock’ that funding, with notification expected in March 2010. This confirmation was not received due to changes in government and the Comprehensive Spending Review. We have now received notification from Tim Loughton MP and the Dept for Education that funds are secure, however with a recognition that robust future revenue funding plans are in place due to the economic climate. This will require a review of the proposed scheme as it stands and its future business plan.
The original intentions of the Hastings Myplace project are stated below:
Myplace is about youth & community involvement, providing a safe but inspirational place for young people to go, and ensuring a sense of place & belonging that is shared with the wider community. Current users of St Mary in the Castle will find this youth-managed arts & cultural facility more than receptive to their active involvement, and we believe that St Mary in the Castle will become more vibrant, accessible and utilised than ever before.
The project will ensure that young people are connected to the town’s heritage. It will raise aspirations, create opportunities, and will ensure that St Mary in the Castle can continue to stand proud as a very real celebration of the arts, culture and creativity inherent in Hastings.