I am nervous about publishing this blog as it shows some things don’t always go to plan and we all have a habit of putting a gloss on things even when there are problems. Although that can be part of the success, it can create a culture of ‘over positivity’ … so I thought I would publish it and see what happens.
What do you do when you find out you don't have enough money to finish a project like The Station in the way you want? We have now used our contingency money on the acoustic wall, cafe equipment and indeed the reinforcement of the culvert, containing the River Frome, flowing directly under our feet . The amount left for fixtures and fittings (that's computers, lighting, furniture, cutlery etc) is dwindling as the money gets used in getting the building built. Consultants giving us well-meaning yet conflicting information make it difficult to decide what the right decision is. We decided early on that we needed to have the best infrastructure in place (that's the pipes, cables, and basic equipment) so that we can add to it as we raise more funds but it's worrying to know we might open without everything we’d like in place for young people. We are trying to do it without taking out a loan to make sure we have enough money to run the centre when it's open. We are fundraising hard but at the point of writing this blog no clear solution is presenting itself.
So, what can we do? Firstly, we need to make sure we learn from this experience. It’s our first time managing a building contract of this size and some things we missed or didn't understand, which meant we've had to take a longer and more expensive route to overcoming some obstacles. Secondly, I have to try to look at the broader picture. There are always bound to be problems and in five years time they will be forgotten. On the upside, our partners are proving to be a real support. Many organisations are keen to work at The Station and are supporting us to get it right. So a big thank you to Basement Studios, YMCA, and Young Bristol amongst others.
Does this mean it's all going belly up and will be a disaster? I don't think so but right now we are in the eye of the storm and it is a bit unsettling. We need to sail the ship steadily but close to the wind and keep close to our vision for The Station and also on what we can do for young people.
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