The Words of the Read Family
March 7, 2004
Dear brothers and sisters,
The subject of Cleeve House has been one which has remained unresolved despite concerted efforts over many years to clarify what to do with it, how to maintain it, make money out of it or use the value locked up in it.
It is also an unfortunate fact that not enough funds have been available to maintain it as it should have been maintained and that it is now not in the best condition it could be. Despite rumours that "the leaders just want to sell it", we have done feasibility studies on many ideas for CH, most of which were too expensive, too risky or not possible, and we are still looking at new ideas. We are all aware that Cleeve House is the only building the movement currently owns which can be used to hold workshops for any group larger than about 30 participants. We obviously need such a facility, since our Second Generation education is vital, and we should not forget that it is also possible to hire purpose built premises for our use.
Increased efforts have been made recently to clarify the condition of Cleeve House in light of current health and safety laws and to leave no stone unturned in investigating all possible uses for it. These range from using it to generate funds full-time, using the money earned to fund alternative workshop facilities and renovate Cleeve House itself, through to generating funds part of the time, and using it on a part time basis, through to selling it - if all else fails and/or better uses for the value in the property are generally agreed upon. Two professional advisers have visited the house recently: a land agent, who specialises in property valuation and sales, and a company that specialises in managing estates and making money out of such properties.
These visits have, however, thrown up some questions about the building's current suitability for use, even for our own current purposes, to the point where the management team of the Movement feels that it would be better not use it at the moment until the specialist company has made further investigations and proposals, which will be until near the end of April.
I am sorry if you were hoping to see your children use Cleeve over Easter, but we will find an alternative venue as soon as we can. Even though we canít use Cleeve from now on for a while, I hope that a good solution for its use will soon be found.
I will, of course, let you know of any developments as soon as I find out.
All the best,
ITPN Tim Read
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