New landlord helps secure future of Grandads Front Room

The owner of Grandads Front Room says the company’s future is secure until at least January 2023 now it’s venue has been bought by a new landlord.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 2:15 pm

The Community Interest Company, on High Street, has been uncertain about its future since February, when the previous landlord announced its intention to sell up and move on.

Volunteers were considering a number of options to keep the future of the company safe, including raising money to buy the venue themselves, or renting another space further out of town.

But the venue’s new buyer appears keen to work with the organisation and keep it’s future secure.

DM19112749a.jpg. Chichester charity Four Streets Project holds an open event at HSBC. Danny Dawes. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-191129-211919008

“It’s a good thing, because it means that we’re safe until January 2023 now,” said owner Danny Dawes.

“It’s a local guy who’s bought it as well. Someone from Sussex. It’s a Sussex person investing in a Sussex community, which is brilliant.”

The future of the organisation post-2023 is still up for debate, however. Mr Dawes explained that the new landlord wants to ‘see how the land lies’ when January 2023 rolls around, but he confirmed he has plans for the business past that point.

For the time being, though, Mr Dawes said his main priority is securing the short-term future of Grandads Front Room, which is in jeopardy following the challenges of the pandemic. To that end, Mr Dawes is starting a fundraiser designed to help the company pay a full year’s rent.

“It hasn’t been an easy time through the pandemic and we have used our finances as best we can to get us this far and help as many people as we have, by your grace,” the company said in a Facebook status posted on September 16.

Speaking to the Bognor Regis Observer, Mr Dawes added: “Our rent here is £9,850 a year plus VAT, so we can trade to fund that, but we’ve also got things like maintenance charges and everything. The thing people need to realise is that, when we do a fundraiser, none of it is used for wages, because no one gets paid here. But we’ve got to keep going in order to do the things we do in the community and, sadly, every car needs some petrol and our fuel tank is a little bit dry at the moment.

“Whatever we get to will help us to help others.”