Band's future may be secured
The future of Dereham Band looks secure after they have agreed a deal to buy the land which their base stands on.For months the fate of the popular band, which has entertained people for generations and raised huge sums for charities, was in question after Breckland Council increased the annual peppercorn rent from £1 to almost £2,000.
The future of Dereham Band looks secure after they have agreed a deal to buy the land which their base stands on.
For months the fate of the popular band, which has entertained people for generations and raised huge sums for charities, was in question after Breckland Council increased the annual peppercorn rent from £1 to almost £2,000.
The band is funded through subscription charges to cover insurance and running costs so would be forced to fold if faced with the rent hike.
But now a solution could be in sight after council chief executive Trevor Holden agreed the band could not only buy the land but also suggested it applies for grants and match funding from Breckland.
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The band owns its building on the Rash's Green Industrial Estate so would only pay the district council for the land it stands on, which is valued at £17,000.
Secretary Fiona Joisce said: “It looks like there could be a future for Dereham Band. It's great news. We needed to check with all the members they agree buying the land is the best thing to do and they do.
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“Hopefully this could be a solution to the problems. It would mean we would only have to worry about rates.
“It's a lot of money for us but I'm confident we can do this with the continued support of everyone.
“People have been so generous and helpful in so many ways it's made a real difference. The band would like to thank everyone for their support.”
Breckland Council said it was too early to comment.
tThe band's spring concert is at Northgate High School on April 19. Tickets can be bought from Knit Wits in Glencowe Court off the Cherry Tree car park.
tAnyone who can help the band can contact secretary Fiona Joisce on 01362 694533.