Welcome to the Strutts Community Project web site.
For all enquiries about room bookings, opening times, etc please contact reception on 01773 599993 or via email Reception@strutts.org.uk.
If you do something at Strutts get your free publicity here - contact me via the contact page
The following was written before the tenth years was clearly started but now it certainly is, so read on, celebrate and remember!
Depending upon how you decide the starting date The Strutts Project is ten years old about now. For those like Trevor Griffin and Janet Honey who were involved from the very start it is more then ten years. The article below from page 15 of the Derby Evening Telegraph on the 6th November 2007 gives one public definition of the start but much work clearly pre-dates that day. We didn't get the building until more than a year latter but it had all kicked off!
Click the image to read the article.
Little did Janet, and the rest of us, know all those years ago how much of our lives the project was going to occupy. Just to give a little taste of how important Strutts has become to Belper we had 590 bookings with 123 differing customers in October this year (2018 - it's 642 for 138 customer this year 2019 so still growing!), most come once a week every week during term time. Everybody and everything from the local Health Trust down to a Welsh Language group, from a Wedding to a Funeral has happened in Strutts this last month.
The term time thing was something we never anticipated, nowadays we are a little quieter when the schools are closed but apart from Sundays and bank holidays we are pretty much open. It seems the link with the building being a school is going to continue for many more years and that is lovely. There are a number of magic things about Strutts: The number of people who come in and say “That's my mum or grand dad on that honers board” or isn't “This a beautiful building” being two of the best.
However, it is the quieter regular things that, for me, have made the most difference to Belper. The Art Groups, the Badminton, the Table Tennis and Bridge Group, the Poetry Group, all of whom never get a mention that have brought pleasure to many people, the demand that the councils thought did not exist. (Even the County Council are customers.)
Well one thing for sure they were wrong; slowly but surly we have grown from a point where paying the heating bill was a real struggle, to now being able to make some repairs and enhancements to the buildings. The struggle now is deciding which project large or small is most important. Re-pointing the walls, redecorating the Hall or upgrading the toilets by room 10?
We have two contradictory demands on funds, restoring and repairing the building and providing more or better facilities for our users. However, it's a good problem to have because it means the building is working and that Strutts should survive as it is now viable.
Our biggest problem is now as it always has been people. The building is run by volunteers, the only people who get paid do so because we do not have the skills required or nobody wants to do the job. The more we spend on those skills the less we spend on the other requirements. However, volunteering at Strutts has it's rewards the pleasure of seeing someone open a new group and have it grow to be successfully or just tick along doing what they love. It's a very sociable place and I think that's something we need to build on.
After much deliberation, and having held our prices at the same level for more than half of the ten year life of the project, we the Trustees have decided to increase the cost of using the building. The great work of the volunteers has managed to keep the costs of opening the building to a minimum, however the cost associated with energy, cleaning, decoration and repair continue to increase. Further, the programme of repair and decoration is taking too long for many and we openly admit it is slower than we would prefer.
In general the change represents a 12.5% increase in price and this increase will apply to all our customers. Effectively, after more than half a decade of inflation has been taken into account, the increase amounts to little more than 1%. At the same time we are going to address some of the preferential biases that have become part of our costing structure which will mean that a few booking types (not basic room bookings) will see cost increases above this.
The changes take effect for all new bookings from 1st July. The price of bookings made before the 1st June will be held at the current rate until 1st October, after which all bookings will be at the new rates.
We the Trustees would like to thank you all for your custom; without you and our volunteers this building would not be open and Belper would be a poorer place to live.
I recently had a conversation with a user who was excited to see the improvements we have made by having the tarmac relaid. The person concerned said she could now drive into the site without fearing for her cars suspension. She had no idea that we paid for it from the room hire. Further, she had no idea that just about everybody you see working at Strutts is a volunteer and that effectively we get nothing from the councils.
Books for sale
We often have book sales at Strutts but few people seem to realise that you can purchase our books any time reception is open. This means that if you want to find a book just come and brows our collection and when you find a book (the books) you want bring them to reception to pay. We have several hundred books on display and available most of the time, most are paper backs but we also have a smaller number of hardbacks.
So next time you are passing just drop in and have a look.
Come along hire a room and do your thing at Strutts