Since our last article in the Spring Edition we have been quietly carrying out some essential preliminary work with the Mitchell Trust, prior to the procedure of preparing the organisation for formal charitable status. We have found that such status has become almost a pre-requisite in qualifying for the substantial grants needed for us to complete plans for refurbishment and modification projects.
We would like to thank all our various users of the Reading Rooms for their continuing support. In the Spring, we announced the opening of the Children’s Library, which involves parents as much as the children.
Another initiative which brings people together is the Kippen Cuppa, which takes place on a Thursday afternoon from 2 to 3.30, managed by Ali Thom.
Mike Flint has continued with his film series, and we are very pleased that all of these activities, together with Keep Fit and ‘The Rural’, utilise the Rooms for the very purpose for which they were built – bringing people together.
Earlier in the year, the defibrillator was successfully applied, and it is hoped to have another instruction session run by the Loch Lomond and Trossachs Mountain Rescue Group. Following the incident mentioned in the Spring edition, some lessons were learned, as a result of which it has been planned that an external light will be installed shortly, which should enable easy access to the equipment at night-time.
Over the last 14 months just over £22,000 has been spent on major repairs and maintenance. That work is now very largely complete, and it is hoped to start the second phase of upgrading the kitchen and other facilities as soon as funds become available from grant sources.
At the recent Annual General Meeting of the Management Committee, it became clear that material increases in electricity, and other maintenance charges, make it necessary to increase the hourly charge for using the Reading Rooms – the first increase for four years.
These increases are modest in size, and still make the Reading Rooms good value for meetings, functions and parties.