New chair takes reins of Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust

John Harris taking over the chair from Ian Hepworth. Photo: Ian Hepworth.

A new chair has taken over the chair of Richmondshire Building Preservation Trust, which runs The Station in Richmond.

The annual general meeting, held on Zoom, heard how chair Ian Hepworth was standing down after five years in the position.

He welcomed John Harris, who has taken over the role.

John has been a trustee since 2015 and has considerable experience in similar roles as a long time district and town councillor, the meeting was told.

John thanked Ian for his time as chair.

John said: “Ian was involved in the Station project from the start and played a major role in both the planning and bid for funding for the building conversion. Subsequently he has been both chair and treasurer of the trust and a dedicated member of the board, the community owes a great deal to Ian and other pioneering trustees.

“I am very pleased that Ian will stay on as a trustee and that his considerable expertise will be available to guide us.”

In spite of this restriction there was a good turnout of members at the meeting, who were updated on the current situation with regard to operating the Station under the current restrictions.

The financial year 2019-2020 which finished at the end of March, was very successful in all areas, until the countrywide lockdown.

A surplus of £10,066 was achieved in spite of losses during the last month.

The Station of course closed on March 23, however the tenants, Angels Share, Archers Ice Cream and Richmond Brewing Company were allowed to remain open.

They all continued to operate, albeit, with changed opening hours, and serving customers from external doors.

It became possible to re-open in July and initially only the Café-bar re-opened on July 8.

The café-bar registered for the eat out to help out government scheme for August which met with a very good response from the public which was much appreciated by staff and board members.

All the other business including the Cinema were able to re-open during July and August.

The current restrictions mean it will be some time before The Station is able to operate at full capacity, which limits the potential income.

It is important to the trust that visitors and customers will feel safe when they are inside the building, and feel comfortable to return, the meeting heard.