Posted: 24.02.21 at 19:40 by The Editor
Frome Town Council has agreed to fund a new ventilation system for the Cheese & Grain.
Councillors voted to invest £20,000 in a new system which they were told will be needed once the venue is re-opened.
Steve Macarthur from the iconic music and entertainment venue, which is owned by Frome Town Council under a 99 year long lease, warned that unless an improved system was installed the doors may not re-open.
He told Council Matters (February 24) that prior to the coronavirus pandemic the emphasis from the venue managers had always been on sound proofing the building, but that meant a sweaty and stuffy hall. " Now we have a serious health hazard with Covid. We need to bring in fresh air from the outside, without making too much noise. It is a matter of people's health. We are also anticipating a new regulation (for event venues) and we would not keep our licence if we did not improve its ventilation. Put simply no ventilation = no venue."
He told the Zoom meeting because the Cheese & Grain does not actually own the building they find raising capital funds a challenge. " It is your building, " he told Frome Town Council. " We have worked hard to raise revenue funds over the past year, but that is still only a third of what we would normally have had in takings. We need this money to keep us from closing (permanently)."
The details are HERE : the Frome Town site
Later in the meeting councillors were told the details expenditures and income to Frome Town Council to the end of January.
Within the balance sheet it was revealed that the council has awarded two lots of spending on the Market Place engineering works, payments of £71,459 and a further spend of £17,239 to the building contractors Alun Griffiths. That said councillors were told that the council: " Remains financially sound."
You can see the expenditure sheet by clicking HERE : the Frome Town site
Later in the meeting there was a warning that under the coronavirus lockdown the Town Hall is facing a deficit of £31,000.
However they were told that even though the building is shut to all but a skeleton staff, it is not all doom and gloom and once events start and meetings can begin they hope that this financially situation can be turned around, especially once they can tap into the lucrative wedding market.
Under current lockdown restrictions, weddings and civil partnerships are only permitted under “exceptional circumstances” . From 12 April provided the data allows, it is expected weddings of up to 15 people will resume. And, again if coronavirus cases continue to fall, but no earlier than 17 May, the government would like to increase this number to 30.