Brentwood Centre in survival appeal amid 97 per cent drop in revenue

The Brentwood Centre and its users have turned to charitable fundraising to help raise valuable cash as it admits its revenue fell by 97 per cent because of  Covid -19.

In an appeal launched in July the Brentwood Centre said it “needs your help, please donate now if you can.”

The Bentwood Centre, operated by Brentwood Leisure Trust, generates its revenue for the Brentwood Centre and six community halls through activities in these businesses.

But during lockdown it says revenues have fallen by 97 per cent and although it has received some external help from the government, it has not received as much help as it needs “to survive moving forward”.

A statement as part of a fundraising initiative said: “Whilst availing ourselves of all the government support available, we are still in desperate need of external donations to ensure the charity survives.

“Now, more than ever, it is so important for us to rely on those funds and donations in order to reopen the Brentwood Centre and start offering those valuable services to our Brentwood community.

“During the following months we will be working hard to restore the centre’s facilities, programmes and events back to what they were before Covid-19, but we need your help in ensuring we have a future.”

Swimmers have also added to the cause. The Well Done Team, which is an informal group of friends who swim regularly at the Brentwood Centre, are putting up  22 swimmers aiming to swim a total distance of 42 miles, about twice the width of the English Channel, on October 25.

“We have planned this marathon swim in recognition of the centre’s valuable services to the local community,” a message on the JustGiving page says.

The dire warning comes amid a new financial plan proposed by Brentwood Council that is being put together to ensure the long term viability of the Brentwood Centre.

The financial details of the package have not been released, but are expected to have been influenced by previous decisions and its debt of £343,390 to the council on March 31, 2020.

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter