Due to the recent announcement regarding the Cafe closure, there have been a lot of rumours and misinformation and we feel it necessary to clarify some points.
Firstly, we want to be extremely clear that we are not shutting the Community Centre.
The Community Centre is open and offering spaces for a wide range of groups, and events under the current COVID guidelines.
Our centre continues to give people a way to connect with others through these groups and, we have more returning all the time.
It has been said that the Cafe has made a profit year on year, this is incorrect.
On deeper inspection of LACA’s accounts, we have become aware that any overheads for the running of the Cafe had not been factored into the Cafe expenditure.
This means that things like maintenance, utilities, cleaning, and admin costs were not included in the expenditure and, once those figures had been factored in, it became clear that the Cafe was running at a deficit.
It has also been said that the Cafe has been LACAs biggest income stream.
Again, this has never been the case. Once the true costs were analysed it became clear the Cafe was in fact a drain on LACA’s resources.
Another rumour is that the Cafe was run by volunteers.
Whilst this was the original model for the Cafe, this was no longer the case.
In one year approximately half of the centre’s staff wages went to the running of the Cafe.
Therefore, with all these factors included, it is clear the Cafe was unsustainable in that format.
We realise that the Cafe was a meeting place for many people, young and old, and we fully support what people are saying, and any plans will have these users in mind.
Please be assured that we are working closely with the Parish Council to ensure that we utilise this community space to the benefit of all in the village.
We must now look to the future, and for the new community space to work, we will need the full support of the village.
The recent announcement has shown us that LACA does have a lot of support and that people feel passionate about having a community space that is accessible to all.
With your support, we will make this happen!
With that, we are asking people to volunteer to help us run the new community space.
Is this something you would be interested in? If yes, please, register your interest using the form below.
We will update you all as soon as we can with more exciting information on our plans.
In the meantime, we hope this has helped clear up some of your concerns.
Long Ashton Community Association.