BTFC July 2019 Update on actions associated with recent Fire
It is now just over three weeks since the fire that destroyed our clubhouse. The Board would like to provide you with an update on our progress towards some of the challenges and associated actions this event presents us with. We also wish to extend our continued thanks to everyone who is helping us to get back on our feet.
Our initial consultation identified immediate key priorities for us. These were:
- Providing a safe environment: An environment that is fit for purpose and meets regulatory requirements including completion of health and safety assessments
- Play must go on: Our initial priority was to ensure that all of the planned friendly matches were covered ensuring we could seamlessly deliver football matches and training as planned
- Hospitality: To ensure we can offer catering and refreshments, without too many disruptions, that meet the needs of, supporters, staff, players and visitors, including facilities for our community activities.
So how are we doing?
We are pleased to say that we have had success to date in varying degrees, with all three initial priorities. All health and safety assessments required to date have been completed and the football club is safe to use. In the next few weeks we will be providing an undercover solution for our supporters; the existing kitchen area is safe to use at present, however contingency is in place to move kitchen facilities (should it be required) and a new toilet block will be installed in the next few weeks to meet the National League ground grading requirements.
All friendly matches and training sessions are taking place as planned, with occasional tweaks to venues; thanks to all for their suggestions and flexibility around this timetabling and planning.
Our volunteers day prior to our first friendly match against Oxford United FC saw 73 dedicated supporters and volunteers put in a day of hard graft, on a rather warm day, to tidy our grounds. This was a tremendous turnout and many tasks were completed. Thank you to all who gave up their time and put their energy into this volunteer day.
So what next?
We have started our longer term planning required to pave our way forward with the new build. This planning is positive but has the potential to be challenging at times, as you will no doubt appreciate.
We are in regular contact with our insurance assessors who are working hard to agree an insurance settlement. This settlement process is expected to take some time, possibly months, in order that a fair agreement is finalised. This is being professional managed by the Board with the help of one of our supporters who is a local expert in the insurance industry.
People understandably still have questions about the fire and we continue to be asked about the cause. We do not have much information about the cause and feel it is unhelpful to speculate .We can confirm that the fire was not intentionally started and forensic officers from the insurance company are investigating possible causes. We await their report and will share the findings with you as soon as they are known.
As you might expect, immediate mitigations and rebuilding our facilities have financial implications for our club. Our existing insurance cover will meet a large proportion of these costs, some fundraising efforts will be required to bridge any gaps. In addition, our business interruption insurance will enable us, in part, to function effectively until our new facilities are built and in use. All of the things that we have put in place to date have been paid for through the current funds the football club had accrued, however this is a finite resource and we truly need the help of supporters to fundraise with us.
How can you continue to help?
- Please keep coming to all of our matches, supporting both the 1st team and the Saints; they need your support now as much as ever and that support is always truly valued.
- Bring people with you to matches, encourage your friends and family to attend. They will get to see truly competitive teams’ performing in both the National and Hellenic Leagues.
- Share your ideas for fundraising by contacting Graham Shaw; we would be delighted to hear your ideas and work with you to bring them alive
- Consider helping with our bucket collections. We have already kick started our fund raising of which £1750 has been already been collected over our first two friendlies. This is a great start; thank you.
On a lighter note, you may have noticed our new building at the front of the ground was unaffected by the fire and is just a week away from completion. We will then be able to welcome back our Saints Community Project on a Wednesday morning. The building offers a pleasant room that will comfortably seat 60 people ideal for small parties and meetings. So if you do have a small gathering / occasion coming up do please contact us on 01280 704077 or make your initial enquiry through our on line booking system via our website at www.brackleytownfc.com
We hope this update gives you a sense of our progress to date with our key priorities and prompts you to consider how you and your friends and family may together continue to help us as we move forward with this next chapter in our club’s history.
We will keep you updated on our progress as and when we gain more information.