Date: 24 July 2020
Thanks to the generosity of many people in Letchworth and the surrounding area, we’ve had a fantastic response to the appeal to save the Settlement. We’re pleased to announce that through the pledges of money and time from so many of you, we now feel confident that the centre can re-open in the next couple of months.
Once we’re open, we’re looking forward to offering a varied programme of high quality courses again. The opening will be staggered – we’ll communicate more about this in regular updates. We also plan to offer our facilities for hire to Letchworth community groups, once the procedures have been adapted to meet the new public safety standards. We’re lucky to have inherited not just a historic building but an educational institution with a proud reputation and a passionate group of supporters. A testament to the hard work and vision of the staff and trustees who have run it successfully for so many years.
But we’re not in a position of safety yet. We need to be confident that the Settlement can withstand many more months of socially-distanced classes and restricted face-to-face activity once the centre is open again. Which impacts the income that can be generated compared to previous years. We may be ‘back in business’ but we will be some way from ‘back to normal’. As a result we’ll be continuing our fundraising activities; and will be calling on more of the generous offers of help you’ve made, to allow us to explore new ideas for ways in which the Settlement can adapt and serve even more of the local community in the future.
A new interim committee has been formed, who are working closely with experienced Settlement office staff to formulate the re-opening plan. The interim committee members are: Hilary Kemp, Marian Adams, Alan Higbey, Nigel Carrick, Christina Butterworth, Carole Brooks, Catherine Beaumont and Katherine Alcock.
There’s still a lot of work to do before the Settlement can re-open, not least because of the new public health and building safety requirements for Covid-19. So please bear with the members of the new interim committee, as we consult the users of the Settlement, and work through the detailed plans. As soon as we have firm dates and details to announce we’ll share them with you.
We look forward to welcoming you back to this unique Letchworth Institution soon,
Chair of Letchworth Educational Settlement