Speen Shop Charities Committee

In 1995 The Buckinghamshire Housing Association purchased the old Speen Shop site and built 4 three bedroom cottages, 1 two bedroom cottage and a new shop on the site.  The cottages were completed and occupied in September 1997 and the shop was leased and officially opened in May 1998.

With the opening of the shop, Speen Shop Charities Committee was founded.  Funded by rent from the shop, the charity may provide financial assistance to villagers for any useful non-commercial purpose, which either satisfies an individual or group need, or is of benefit to the community of Speen.  The Committee is made up jointly from Speen residents and Bucks Housing staff.

Now, in March 2020 it is announced that this charitable fund has run its course and will be wound up :-

Speen Shop Charity Release

It is now over 20 years since Buckinghamshire Housing Association (Bucks Housing) built and provided five new affordable houses and a shop, which became Speen Stores and Post Office (Ground Floor) and a Hairdressers (First Floor).

In order to assist the viability of the scheme, a grant of £40,000 was provided from lottery funding with a condition that any rent from the shop should be used to support community projects in Speen. Although the National Lottery Charities Board confirmed some years ago that this condition had been entirely satisfied, Bucks Housing continued to allocate the rental income to Speen Stores Charity, a charity set up with representatives from Speen and the Association to review applications received and to allocate funds accordingly.

Since the fund was established in 1999, over £55,000 has been distributed to local good causes, far exceeding the original £40,000 grant received by the Association in lotteries funding.

The main recipients, either in terms of value or number of payments made, (but not listed in any particular order) have been:

·          Speen Village Hall ·          Speen Fete
·          Speen Millenium Celebrations ·          Speen WI
·          Speen Playing Fields Assoc. ·          Speen Baptist Church
·          Speen Pre-School ·          Speen Shop
·          Speen C of E School ·          Speen War Memorial
·          Speen Festival ·          Speen Toddler Group

The following are some examples of one-off recipients / projects over the years:

  • Lacey Green Parish Council (contribution to mobile speed indicator signal)
  • Contribution to school fees for a disabled child
  • Community First Responders (contribution to ambulance response car)
  • Rural Community Defibrillator Group (public access defibrillator)
  • St John’s School (contribution to Music Pavillion)
  • Creation of a Bike Park
  • Speen Scout Hut (contribution to refurbishment of toilets and kitchen)
  • New Buckinghamshire Players

The Board of Bucks Housing, having received formal notification from the National Lottery Charities Board that they no longer have an interest in the Speen Shop, have decided that, having supported the Speen Stores Charity for over 20 years and being a charitable organisation itself, the Association should no longer provide ongoing financial support. Consequently, with effect from 31st March 2020, the charity will be disbanded and any remaining funds allocated to organisations making due applications.

Please ensure that any final applications for monies from Speen Stores Charity are submitted by no later than Friday 20th March 2020. Please send any applications to me by email – rogercraft50@gmail.com.   Any applications after this date will not be considered.

As many of you will be aware, the lease of the shop from Bucks Housing came to an end last year and discussions have been taking place with Bucks Housing regarding the granting of a new lease. I am pleased to report that a new 18 month lease is due to be entered into shortly which will provide at least some continuity for this valued village amenity moving forward.

After the Charity has been disbanded at the end of March, please address any enquiries regarding the Speen Shop to Phil Green at Bucks Housing who can be reached by telephone on 01494 480340

Roger Craft          Chairman of Speen Shop Charity                March 2020

In 2016/17, the Committee awarded a total of £3,705 towards the following causes:

  • a new PA system for the Speen Playing Field Association
  • new play equipment for Speen Pre-School
  • a shed to house garden equipment at Speen Baptist Church
  • a mobile vehicle activation sign (Lacey Green Parish Council)
  • a touch-screen TV for Speen C of E School.

In 2017/18, grants were awarded to the value of £4,350 to fund:

  • new Christmas tree lights for Speen Playing Field Association
  • a festival issue of Speen & North Dean News
  • a contribution to the 2017 Speen Festival, (although due to the success of the Festival, the grant was returned)
  • a new gazebo and tree works (Speen Playing Field Association)
  • replacement heating system at Speen Village Hall.

A final form (including contact names) is available from the shop, or may be downloaded by clicking the link below:
Speen Shop Charities Application Form

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