The Town Council would like your views on the future of the Gannon Institute

Over the summer, we, were approached by the long-serving trustees of the Gannon Institute, who explained that they no longer feel able to continue, and asked the Town Council to take over responsibility for the charity.  We thank them for their service.

The Institute has provided the Gannon Rooms in Station Approach for well over 100 years, for “the benefit of the inhabitants of Saxmundham”.  If the Town Council is to take over as Managing Trustee, this will need discussion with the Charity Commission. In the meantime, to protect the charity’s existence while its future is decided, three town councillors have become trustees.

The Town Council has received a surveyor’s report - the building needs a fair bit of decorative and minor repair work, but appears to be in reasonable structural state.  When open, we might anticipate a modest income of £6-10,000 per year.  The annual outgoings would probably fall in a similar range, but there is a risk that at some stage some more major works will be needed.

Town councillors have to date expressed their ‘in principle’ wish to preserve the Gannon Rooms as a charity ‘asset’ for the town, but need to weigh up potential benefits and costs.  The building’s role as meeting place could be expanded e.g. as a place for local exhibitions etc., and be managed with the nearby Market Hall (also a charity).

We would welcome your views on whether or not you would in principle wish the Town Council to become the charity trustee for the Gannon Rooms, to keep it open as a community ‘asset’.  If so, we would wish to work closely with local community organisations to ensure it can serve our town and community in the best way.

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* 1. Are you a Saxmundham Resident ?

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* 2. Have you ever visited or attended and event at the Gannon Rooms ?

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* 3. Would  you support the Town Council becoming the charity trustee for the Gannon Rooms, to keep it open as a community ‘asset’.

Please complete online or return a paper form to the Town Council by the 5 November 2021
For more information contact the Saxmundham Town Clerk, The Town House, Station Approach, Saxmundham, IP17 1BW