Directors of the Folkestone Leas Lift Company CIC have shared an update of the latest progress which is a huge step towards the targeted 2019 re-opening.
An engineering survey, commissioned using funds donated by the Folkestone Estate and The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, has identified initial work that needs to be carried out to repair the lift and ensure that it is compliant with appropriate legislation.
The board expect to publish the Business plan shortly once they have a clearer idea on the final costings and are working on plans to underpin the future success of the lift which they will turn to once phase one, the reopening of the Lift, is achieved. The community was originally asked to help raise £500,000 against a target of £1m, this remains a good working brief.
During the last few months, meetings have taken place to establish possible funding routes as well as liaising closely with the consulting engineers, Rapid, to work through their recommendations in detail and to look at the most cost efficient way to achieve what is necessary to open.
The Directors are very pleased to announce an extremely positive outcome from a recent meeting with the Folkestone Harbour and Seafront Development Company. It has been announced that following the FHSDC’s successful planning application, the Folkestone Leas Lift will be a major beneficiary of funding from the development’s Section 106 agreement, subject to Phase 1 being built.
Tha chairperson for the CIC, Cathy Beare, said: “It is an honour to be leading a project of this magnitude alongside an enthusiastic and highly skilled volunteer Board. At the front of our mind is to ensure the Lift is in a position where the future is secure and the Lift doesn’t have to close again”.
Support from the community has been very gratefully received including donations and individuals fundraising and the CIC need this momentum to continue to help raise the funding needed now to engage Rapid Engineering, specialists in Heritage Lift restoration, to commence planning immediately in order to meet our opening target of 2019.
Cathy continued: “£50,000 is needed immediately to begin the work with the aim of opening in 2019 and the CIC look forward to sharing our longer term plans for the development and associated opportunities to ensure a long term strategy for the Folkestone Leas Lift. Our numbers are firming up, but as is common with any construction project there are many unknowns until work begins including delays caused by the weather etc. One of our key tasks is to manage this construction project and we are doing everything possible to ensure we use the funds at our disposal in the smartest possible way; be it your £10 donation gratefully received or the funds from S106 should the development go ahead. Clearly, we hope it will.”