Strutts Logo Run by volunteers for Belper

The Weather at Strutts - 23rd February 2014

At Strutts we are obsessed by the weather, as it has a big impact on the viability of the Project. The previous 2 years have had extremely long and cold winters. With long periods of sub-zero temperatures we have to keep the whole place warm for our users, at great expense. We have 3 boilers and they cost us £10 per hour each to run. Last year our gas bill alone was £12K. This year our fuel costs, along with everyone else's, have gone up dramatically. Like a normal household we must balance the books and do everything that we can to reduce energy costs by insulating the building, eliminating draughts, and consider renewable energy options. Without these measures the Project is not sustainable in the long term as energy prices constantly rise way ahead of inflation. We always hope for a long hot summer at Strutts, when we can turn the boilers off.

This year we have had the wettest winter on record, and not surprisingly we have turned our attention to the leaks in the roof and the drains. The building has ongoing problems with the gutters, downpipes and drains. Leaks in the roof result in peeling paint from the inside walls, and we cannot restore the interior of the building until the outside is weather proof. One piece of good news is that the roof above the hall balcony has at last been repaired permanently, and the buckets and dustbins that have been catching the drips can now be removed. At the moment, with our leaking roof, prolonged droughts are good for Strutts, at any time of the year.

Also good for Strutts is our second-hand book fundraising activity, which helps pay for the repairs. We have just had our first Book Sale of 2014, which was a great success. We actually have donated second hand books for sale all the time. They are on display in various rooms and can be purchased from Reception. One great advantage for the Project with the book sales is that we can keep the most appropriate volumes for our own magnificent library, which is steadily growing. This is an activity that can take place what-ever the weather!

If you can help in any way in running the Centre please join the Belper Strutts Society and phone Strutts Reception on 01773 599993 or email me, Nick McLeod at reception@strutts.org.uk

Thanks

Nick McLeod
Chairman of Trustees
Guardians of Strutts