Bourne Arts & Community Trust

Bourne Arts & Community Trust (BACT) is a charity set up to manage Wake House, which is a Grade ll listed building. Wake House is now home to over 150 organisations offering a range of educational and cultural opportunities to Bourne and the surrounding villages.

The Charity’s objectives are:

  1. To promote the benefit of the inhabitants of Bourne and the surrounding villages without discrimination of sex, sexual orientation, race or of political religious or other opinions, by associating together the inhabitants and the local authorities, voluntary and other organisations in a common effort to advance education, relieve poverty and sickness and to provide facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and other leisure-time occupation with the object of improving the conditions of life for the said inhabitants.
  2. To establish or secure the establishment of a Community and Arts Centre (Wake House) and to maintain and manage the same, whether alone or in co-operation with any local authority or other person or body in furtherance of these objects.

What the Charity does:

BACT’s purpose is to provide suitable, low cost facilities for organisations, groups and individuals who improve the conditions of life for people, without discrimination, by advancing education, relieving poverty or improving health and social welfare or by organising recreation or other leisure time activities.

Since 1999 BACT has continuously enabled very many socially valuable activities through its provision of low cost facilities in Wake House, which is perfectly located for the residents of the town.

Our provision is important because there is no comparable facility in the area which provides the scale and range of facilities, or remotely similar facilities at such low cost.

The needs addressed through our work include:

            Specific and targeted support / relief / advice for:

  • Disabled people and their carers
  • Alzheimer’s sufferers and their carers
  • those suffering domestic abuse
  • those in financial distress, legal or other difficulties
  • those with a number of health / wellbeing issues (physical or mental)

Social contact for those who might otherwise be lonely or isolated (through common interest groups e.g. U3A (several groups) and foreign language & music tuition / practice).

Activities and training / development opportunities for adults and for children outside school e.g. GCSE Maths & English Adult Education, Scouting and Children’s Theatre group, Yoga & children’s dance.

A range of other needs including provision for occasional music performances, MP’s surgery & other local events.

The service we deliver is providing a wide range of good quality, low cost rooms for hire, selectively let to many socially useful organisations.

We enable the provision of very valuable services to satisfy a wide range of needs by offering rooms of various sizes and types suitable for diverse activities including meetings, learning, dance & exercise etc. Rooms may be hired by the hour, half or full day and some can be hired “permanently”. Our provision is important because there is nowhere else in the area which provides a similar range of facilities at such a low cost. The 21 rooms vary from 48 to 627 square feet in size and room hire charges start at £6.60.

Rooms are kept in good decorative order through work undertaken by the Trustees themselves to reduce costs, and are equipped with a variety of equipment which may include; sink unit, projector, various types of tables and chairs, there is a small stage in one larger room, some rooms have carpet, others have wooden floors. Toilet facilities are conveniently located close to all rooms. There is disabled access to all ground floor rooms and accessible toilets; ground floor rooms are always made available when disabled access is required.

While we charge users for the facilities the Trustees also provide many local charities with the opportunity to run fundraising events a nil cost during the year. Trustees and Trust Staff personally support many of these events as part of our partnership work with the community we serve.

Our users and partners

Since our principal aim is to provide facilities to socially useful organisations, our direct measures of success are:

  • the number of such organisations using our facilities
  • the range of provision and
  • how much use is made of our facilities

Approximately 150 organisations currently use Wake House (May 2018), these include:

  • 50 Common interest groups (e.g. U3A)
  • 32 Advice / Support services (e.g. CAB, Carers First)
  • 22 Health / Wellbeing services (e.g. Counselling, maternity & baby health advice, Hypnotherapy)
  • 15 Education / Training services (e.g. GCSE Maths and English, French & music tuition)
  • 5 Physical Training providers (e.g. Yoga, Children’s dance & Tai Chi)
  • 25 Others

Satisfying our clients organisations’ needs is also very important. The results of a recent “quality” survey show high levels of satisfaction with our provision, a diverse range of minor suggestions for improvements and (naturally) reference to the dilapidated state of parts of the building.

  • Services score out of 10: 9.99
  • Facilities score out of 10: 8.63

Trustees and Staff

BACT is managed by a team of volunteer Trustees; including working and recently retired with a range of skills and experience. We employ a small staff (one part-time Administrator and four part-time cleaning / caretaking staff) for day to day running of the facility. In addition to management, the Trustees undertake most routine maintenance work / decorating etc., which minimises costs and is why the building is in good internal decorative order.

Trustees: Greg Cejer, Roy Miskelly, Roger Baldwin, Alan Mear, Melvyn Lane, William Welch, Martin Siddle, Colin Pattison, Nicole Woodcock, Judy Smith.

Trust Administrator: Debbie Cope.

Staff Members: Claire Harrison, Julie Smith, Andrew Whitfield.

Future plans

Wake House was sadly neglected by its previous owners and is in a poor state of repair. The Trust as a Charity and Tenants of the District Council were not able to instigate any major repairs as we had no security of tenure until 2017. The listed Georgian House (built approx. 1800), carries a blue plaque as the birthplace of Charles Worth who moved to Paris and founded Haute Couture Paris Fashion. The building is very well used, but unfortunately our continued ability to operate as a vital community facility is at risk from the poor condition of the building.

BACT have recently obtained long term tenure so seek funding to allow us to fix the building’s problems which are poor basic condition and two (fully understood) structural faults are putting the building and so our charitable work, at risk.