We have to share some disappointing news. Our bid to the Garfield Weston Foundation’s Anniversary Fund has been unsuccessful. We always knew that ASTRA faced a hard task in getting a result but we assembled a strong proposal and on the way secured support from Milton Keynes Council, but as it turned out we were among 2,300 applicants seeking a total of almost £200 million from the Foundation, which has cash in hand to satisfy but a handful of bids. Few charitable enterprises in the UK are willing to fund capital projects like ours, and we found ourselves lining up with 2,299 other applicants who had similar thoughts about tapping into the Weston Anniversary Fund. Although the charity was unable to help us it reported that it was encouraged by the sheer number of great projects, like ours, under way.
Obviously this is a setback for the Church Hall project, but we made a decent effort and in doing so we have polished up our proposal writing skills. We can use this experience to good effect in other applications. It’s a tough time trying to get funds from the public and voluntary sectors, so we have to accept the rising national level of demand and move on to examine other potential sources of funding. This reversal in no way diminishes the validity and common purpose of ASTRA’s work to save our village’s community asset. We are as determined as ever to save and renew the Church Hall.
ASTRA Community Projects Team