Following a review of existing hire charges the Foundation Trust Management Committee considered it necessary to raise hire charges in 2011 in order to meet rising costs since the last increases in 2003 and 2007.
Being ever mindful of the difficulties facing approved registered charities today a reassessment of the charges made to them is included in the tariff of hire charges.
Whilst every effort is being made to keep overheads low, the Management Committee cannot always absorb the increases being levied by gas and electricity suppliers and the rising costs of general day to day maintenance.
As part of the recent refurbishment, it was conditional on the various grants received, to utilise some of the Foundation Trusts reserve funds to meet the overall costs of the improvements. The Committee therefore recommended that the reserves were reinstated to their original level, to meet any unforeseen maintenance on this ageing property. This has now been achieved, and the Management Committee are pleased to say that they have kept private and commercial hire fees at the same rate since 2011 and have reduced registered charity and non-profit booking fees for Billericay. residents, clubs, societies and associations in 2016 and again in 2017.
The Management Committee are extremely pleased with the results of the refurbishment work, and also with comments received from existing and prospective hirers to the improvements, made by upgrading this eighteenth century building to twenty-first century requirements.
The building was redecorated by the Community Service Group in 2016 .
In 2017 the Trustees installed a shutter for the Atrium, blinds for the doors and an electrically operated projection screen to allow films and similar events to take place at any rime of day. The hand-dryers in the toilets were also replaced with airblade-style units.