Sourcing initial funding
The most common problem for many community led organisations needing to improve or enhance their existing facilities, revolves around how they achieve the required funding and get an exact quote on the work that needs carrying out.
Many clubs struggle to gauge the level of funding they feel they can achieve or actually need, which can result in leaving clubs with an under-ambitious or over-ambitious project. There are pots of money out there, however securing them is not always an easy ask. Sport England and the inspired facility grant is one of the most popular avenues, while there are also landfill grants, and various governing bodies that can often offer help. The form-filling can be detailed and long winded and many clubs look to out-source this part of the project to individuals or companies who specialise in obtaining grants. These days more and more community projects have taken to crowd funding to achieve their required finance. This is not only easy and light on paperwork but also gets the community on board and can help to network and make vital contacts in the local area moving forward.
Assessing the potential cost of your project
Whether you are require new buildings for scout groups or a new pavilion for your cricket club it is often painfully problematic to obtain a definitive quotation from construction companies, especially when planning permission hasn’t been granted or you have no specific design detail with which to work. Busy construction companies will not always be willing to meet on site or allocate a time slot to discuss and as a consequence it may be a long time until something happens. In the first instance, it is useful to bend the ear of a local company that may offer some time pro bono, or an architect who may offer a rough indication of costing.
A little bit of task division can go a long way. Between members of the project taskforce it is possible to break down all project costs. Challenge individuals or small groups to research and find the real costs for every item. In addition the cost of labour should also be factored in.
How to appoint a contractor
It is always prudent to appoint a contractor that comes with a unanimously high recommendation, but also someone that has experience in delivering a similar project to the one at hand. It is imperative to run a check to ensure that the organisation, is financially stable. This can be done by checking company history with Companies House, especially if the company require a deposit payment. Ensure that they have the necessary professional indemnity insurance if they are to be involved in the design, as well as public liability insurance up to £10 million. Check if they are accredited to any construction bodies: Constructionline, CHAS and the safe contractor scheme. It is also imperative to ask for references if they are not forthcoming.
Analysis of your quotation: have you allowed for contingency?
Once you have received your quotation, ensure that the details are all correct and that you are completely happy with the content. Dependent on the size of the project, it is best advised to enter into a basic construction contract to ensure you have taken all the necessary steps to protect your organisation.