Rumbletums celebrated its 7th birthday on 2nd July and held a birthday party in the cafe on Saturday 6th.
It was a time for looking back on what the project has achieved since its inception in 2011, with friends old and new and for looking forward to, hopefully, the next seven years. But Chair of Trustees, Derek Gardiner, also had to reveal a new challenge now facing Rumbletums and its supporters.
This is his statement:
As you may know, since Rumbletums first opened on 2nd July 2011, the Victoria Street premises have been rented from the owners of the building, the East Midlands Baptist Trust Company. For the seven years that Rumbletums has used this building, we have benefited from a low rent in return for maintaining and developing the building. During that time we have provided a range of valuable services, not only to our trainees but to the wider community.
However, the Baptist Trust Company decided, when our lease was last renewed, that they would sell the building at the end of the lease period. This will be in June 2019. We now know that the sale price will be £200,000. Although Rumbletums has been given first refusal on buying the premises, it will be difficult to raise this amount of money in the timescale set down by the EMBTC, although we will obviously put as much effort in as possible to secure the necessary funds and are looking at a variety of ways of trying to raise the money.
We have investigated alternative premises and will continue to do so, but, at the moment, there are none that are suitable for our needs locally or that are within our budget. We are also hoping to hold discussions with EMBTC to see if there are any alternative arrangements we can come to.
Sadly, if all these attempts fail, it is likely that Rumbletums will have to close. This is an outcome that, of course, none of us wants.
So it is not yet a done deal and we will work hard to ensure the future of the project, but it would be wrong of the trustees not to inform all those associated with Rumbletums of the facts and of the difficult position we are now in.
Our first consideration in all of this will be our trainees and staff and we will ensure that everyone is informed as things progress, so that timely decisions can be made as necessary.
We know that we will have your support at this difficult time and we hope that by working together we will find a solution and Rumbletums will be around for another seven years.