Overall this project is to ensure that we shall be in a good position to celebrate our 150th anniversary in 2023, and in order to give us time to finance it, the development plan has been divided into manageable phases:
This page explains Phase 1.
Our precious building in a beautiful quiet square in central Edinburgh has been our home since 1896, but is now showing signs of age. The roof, as is common in Edinburgh, is a complex structure with valleys, roof-lights and a cupola – all places where water can collect and seep through. Slates and lead need to be replaced, and stones need to be re-dressed.
We have been offered grant from Edinburgh World Heritage in recognition of our location, and of our history and our role in promoting the arts. This grant is for external work alone and will cover 40% of our grant-eligible costs.
The balance and the cost of work not eligible for a grant, such as brickwork and concrete, has still to be found and amounts to £68K. As a major contribution towards this sum, we are applying for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, although some of the funds raised by crowdfunding earlier this year can be used to re-glaze the roof light, which was covered in black paint during the Second World War.
The main problem we have is the speed with which this work has to be done. In order to qualify for the EWH grant the work has to be completed and paid for by December. Indeed the building will be covered in scaffolding which we really need to have removed by the middle of October.
Further work on the reading room, therefore, including building a wall, has been postponed until after the roof has been made watertight. Thanks are due to all those who contributed to the appeal. The money collected, apart for what is needed for the roof-light, will be set aside. In the meantime, a temporary curtain will separate off the reading room so that it can be used by performers during the festival.
We are grateful for all the volunteer effort involved in running the Club, from our Council members who devote their time, to our stitchers, who have raised £1000 from the wall-hanging. The Heritage Lottery Fund wishes to recognise the voluntary effort and community benefit of its grants and we should remember that although we are a members’ association, we are also a not-for-profit organisation of people passionate about the arts, which aims to promote the practice and enjoyment of art by and for all.
Our most urgent issue is to make the roof watertight. The hailstorm on the afternoon of 5th June 2017 caused the gutters to overflow. The stripes down the middle of this picture is rain pouring through the ceiling.