The development and ownership of community buildings by VCFSE organisations can provide many benefits, including a base to deliver services and activities, generating an income to support financial sustainability, and bringing back into use historical or important buildings.
Pulse can assist with all aspects of community asset base development, including negotiating asset transfer projects with local authorities, working alongside/ subcontracting property professionals such as architects, and securing capital funding. Our services include:
Trinity Church, Ellesmere Port
Trinity Methodist Church first opened in 1914, is locally listed, and occupies a prominent high-street location. The Church wanted to increase usage and provide wider community benefit. Pulse heled to develop an initial project concept, and undertook research and consultation, including presenting to Church members and the congregation, and working closely with the Church Council, Circuit, District, and Methodist Property Office. Feasibility work involved undertaking a detailed options appraisal, appointing architects, overseeing design work and capital costings, organising and facilitating promotional events and developing the project brand called ‘Footsteps to the Future’. We also then undertook more detailed business planning work including detailed revenue financial projections to show the viability of the scheme, project management, development of a detailed funding strategy, and writing funding applications to successfully bring about the new development of the scheme. As part of this we helped to secure over £170,000 of funding and the Church was fully refurbished.
Rev. Chris Jones, Minister at Trinity Methodist Church said “Pulse have worked on the ground, alongside Church members, liaised with users of the building, networked with local council leaders and fed back progress to Church and Circuit meetings. They have been extremely thorough in the consultation undertaken and have been shown to listen to peoples concerns and needs, the staff have been accessible by phone, email and to attend meetings at all times and they have been a delight to work with”
The Workspace, Wolverhampton
Pulse supported All Saints Action Network (ASAN) with all aspects of the development including undertaking an options appraisal, feasibility study, business planning, and fundraising work for the conversion of the former Victorian All Saints Primary School into a serviced office workspace and community facility. The building now trades successfully as a viable community enterprise.
Mike Swain, ASAN Chief Executive said “Pulse have assisted with our plans to realise this exciting community project for the benefit of All Saints residents, including undertaking a feasibility to test options, working closely with our architects and developing a business and financial plan to help secure the funding. The Workspace will provide a valuable local asset and will help ASAN achieve its longer term plan to develop financial sustainability.”
Central Hall, Keighley
Built in 1893, Central Hall in Keighley had been used for many community uses and following closure, Keighley Voluntary Services were keen to identify new uses and re-open the building for public benefit. Pulse developed a feasibility study, business plan, and subsequent capital delivery plan for the conversion of Central Hall in Keighley as a voluntary and community sector hub for the local area, including space for Keighley Voluntary Services, Citizens Advice Bureau, incubator units, café, conferencing and events space. Work included extensive consultation locally to determine uses and negotiation with tenants regarding charges, identification of management and staffing structures, detailed financial projections, and the development of a fundraising strategy. As a result, we helped to secure £1.6m of funding. The refurbished Building has been successful in marketing to a number of groups to hire space, including theatre productions and concerts in the hall, groups hiring space for activities such as dances and social events, organisations hiring space for meetings, and renting the café space out to an external provider to attract people into the building and to cater for events. Central Hall is also used for exhibitions and is now used as an example of best practice nationally.
Caroline Schwaller, Chief Officer at KIVCA said “Pulse’s professional experience, enthusiasm and understanding of working with community-based regeneration initiatives is a big plus point for organisations like ours who may not have tackled a large project before. They are approachable, flexible, supportive, and open to learning, so it felt like good teamwork all round”