Key Points Raised at the First Open Meeting 10th March 2021
On Wednesday 10th March 2021 we held an Open Meeting via Zoom for the Clayton West community to attend, where we discussed our vision, provided a bit of a background to how we have arrived at this position and get an indication of community interest.
Firstly, we would like to thank all those that were able to attend and for your brilliant and valuable contributions, before, on and since the meeting. It has been exciting and reassuring to see the amount of interest generated on our Facebook Page, as well as the number of people who expressed an interest and attended the meeting.
We understand that there were many people who were unable to attend or were unaware of the meeting so here we have highlighted some of the key points raised and our responses to them.
The main focus, at the moment, is to establish who is actively interested in our aim of saving the Former Baptist Chapel, converting the space for use of the whole community and safeguard it for future generations.
If you are supportive, it’s really important you let us know (if you have not already done so, please register your interest by completing this form).
The minimum donation on the GoFundMe page is £5 and whilst this might not 'buy' us much, the more people we have donating here, the better and allows us to demonstrate the community support for the project, which in turn can positively influence decisions of Grant Providers and Sponsors for example. For instance 100 people donating £5 is far more powerful than just one person donating £500, however we will never reach the target with small donations so please support the campaign with as much as you can, whether that be time, skills or financial support.
We will of course continue to keep you informed of developments and tell you how you can help.
The following points were raised at the meeting and / or we feel important to keep in mind:
The current Trustees (The Buckley family) have expressed support for our aims, but are required by the Charity Commission to sell the site for at least it’s market value as although it was originally purchased with funds raised by the village it was donated to the Baptist faith and set up as a charity - Previous efforts to transfer the property to a new group or charity for use by the Community were not allowed under the Charity Commission's rules.
The property is on the open market and, we have no idea who else is interested, but it could end up as a single, or a number of private dwellings If we are unsuccessful. This puts pressure on the Community to raise a potential purchase price of £100,000 plus any costs for urgent repairs in a very short period of time.
This is the last chance for the Clayton West community to safeguard this Grade 2 listed building that has been part of the village since 1840 when it was built from money given by the community of the day. The site also has graves in situ of local families, and these must be treated with compassion and respect.
We have broad support from the local councillors but we have to recognise that this will not extend to substantial financial support directly from the council.
Some people raised the question on why we need two spaces for community use, bearing in mind the existence of the Darby and Joan Club. There are two issues here, one is the safeguarding of the Chapel for its own sake but also reflects the aim of creating a building and space that could be owned and used by the whole community not just a small section of it, currently the Derby and Joan Club is owned by that organisation and therefore controlled to meet their own criteria.
The suggestion is that whilst the new space would be hired for various clubs, sports, or keep fit groups it could also be a space for locals to use and meet, have a picnic or for simple quiet reflection. Members of the community would not be excluded.
There are so many potential uses but this will be driven by what you, the residents of Clayton West, want it to be used for.
One of the main concerns was how the project could be managed and financed. Some will have concerns that money subscribed could be misused or lost and we recognise that this is something that requires careful consideration.
Initially costs incurred are being financed personally by the current committee or from money previously given when the URC church was available and a fund was set up for the possible purchase of that. You will appreciate that some money is needed for us to make any progress, but we undertake to make those details publicly available. Unless substantial sums are received via the GoFundMe page some of that money will be used to put together bids and grant applications or to cover legal fees.
Early simple estimations to purchase the building, replace the windows, doors and the majority of the roof and to make the grounds and interior safe and secure for the community to start using it, comes in at around £250,000.
It may not be necessary to raise all this at once, but the project does need a substantial amount to ensure success and a number of options are being looked at. This will include grants as well as semi commercial loans if this allows us to raise the initial sum in the time scale available. Keeping loans to a minimum clearly is beneficial as it reduces ongoing running finance costs, and any loans need to be viable.
We will also be looking at other forms of crowdfunding where appropriate as well as subscriptions and sponsorships from inhabitants and local businesses large and small. If you have any contacts or suggestions please let us know as soon as possible.
We undertake to ensure that any sums received and not used will be returned to the relevant parties.
All those currently involved are locals and are committed to an ethical and transparent project which will be open to independent scrutiny at any time, this is a project by the community for the community.
If you would like to take an active part in making this happen please click here and complete this form.
By no means will this bind you to anything, but enables us to measure the skills and potential contributions and participation from people of our village and surrounding areas.
And don't forget to share, share and share with your neighbours, friends and other people around the village.
For more information or to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact us on
or email ClaytonWestCommunityHub@gmail.com