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Thread: Nursery in the HQ?

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    Nursery in the HQ?

    Quick one, if you have a nursery in your HQ how much do they pay for the use of the building??

    We have one in our HQ ( a commercial nursery, as far as i know they are not a charity/charitable trust) , and the HQ committee have asked what the average is, its not common knowledge how much they are paying, while phrases such as tenants/stakeholders are banded about- as far as i know there's been no review of things for quite a few years.

    The HQ is shared between Scouting and Guiding,and the management committee run the HQ for the benefit of Scouting and Guiding

    The Nursery have a substantial storage area, with full building access, and are asking for more ( dedicated outside play area ) and so on

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    Do not ever, ever allow the word "tenancy" or "stakeholder" to be used. Ever.

    They are licencees. They do what you tell them or they get out.

    Personally I wouldn't touch a nursery with a bargepole, they are always unreasonable. Let them hire a commercial hall, or if you must have them in be very strict in your licence agreement terms, e.g. an allocated storage area, nothing to be left out ever under any circumstances, and no right for more storage.

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    Beware!! We had a playgroup using our hq for some years until they went bust owing us a reasonable amount of "rent". We had a strict agreement but they still pushed the boundaries. They required several changes which were not necessary from our own useage but they always claimed OFSTED, Local authority or HSE rulings. We complied where we could but always at their cost. We made it very clear that we would not do anything whch benefited the playgroup only. also, they seem to acquire more and more kit which they then want to store - we already had allocated a locked storage space for them but this was never enough. This was about 20 years ago and we were charging them around £8 per hour. This was a constant bone of contention as they were always looking for discounts, special deals and, towards the end of their existence, substantial reductions in the hourly rate. Now, we would not entertain having any nursery provision however worthy or lucrative it might be.

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    Other than what others have said (the key word being: beware...)

    I don't think it would be an hourly charge under these circumstances - with full building access and storage. You'd be looking at a commercially negotiated rent which I think would be based on the playgroup's turnover.

    Our local playgroup operates from the church hall. Their turn over is around £16-17k per annum. Although their most recent turnover was only £13k. I reckon they're paying somewhere around £6k per year for rent, certainly no less than that... It's not a huge playgroup and they're not running surpluses at all...

    That's just a wild guess mind.

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    Scout Leader (Bosun) Nick's Avatar
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    We had a play group renting our hut until they went bust a few years ago. Lots of demands and I was forever having to rod the drains as they insisted on washing sand from the sand pit down the sink. Once they left we didn't have their rent but also didn't have to heat and light the building during the day and could dry kit after wet camps during the day.

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    I would have doubts about a nursery.

    1*/ The safety requirements are much more stringent than they are for older children - esp Scouts and Guides - You may think this silly, but we were told to remove all crocus and daffodil, clear the boundary of toxic plants and remove thorn bushes. Plus, we were to put in an asphalt and fenced play area, and we needed low level toilets, with "adult viewable cubicles, low level wash basins with temperature controls. That came from Kirklees Early Years inspection.

    2/ They will require lots of storage, or they will leave plathings out in the open - and trust me, your Cubs and younger Scouts will be all over that Little Tikes Castle like a bad rash.

    3/ Glitter/ sand/ and other unidentifiable debris.

    4/ You will not be able to leave anything out from one week till the next.

    * Our current meeting place has mother an toddler and meets none of these standards - so mileage on this varies even in the same council jurisdiction.
    Ewan Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post

    * Our current meeting place has mother an toddler and meets none of these standards - so mileage on this varies even in the same council jurisdiction.
    Just to point out that in a Parent & Toddler group the children are still under the care and guardianship of their parent. They're not left with anyone so this type of group is not inspected or OFSTED controlled at all. Mind you, they'll often still have a lot of large play kit and will still have glitter and sand washed down sinks. Note, with regards to rent, that our village P&T isn't even formally consituted; they just collect coinage in a tin from those attending and whoever's on kettle rota will use it to drop off the rent and restock the teabags.

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    Some extreme views here, all the original poster was asking is how much others charge nurseries to use their halls, not missives on why not to hire to nurseries.

    We don't hire our hall out except to the guides to do them a favour but groups up and down the country do, and yes there are disadvantages and yes it's extra work but there are important advantages too such as providing significant income for scout groups to provide scouting, a constant stream of potential recruits to the group, improved security, and building a better community resource. Just because one experience has been difficult doesn't mean that another has to be, just make the right arrangements with the right people. Blocked drains regularly? Tennants have to pay for rodding regularly. Or get out. It's not rocket science.

    Can't help the original poster unfortunately but good luck and sounds like you're doing the right thing to have a proper review.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Epona View Post
    Just to point out that in a Parent & Toddler group the children are still under the care and guardianship of their parent. They're not left with anyone so this type of group is not inspected or OFSTED controlled at all. Mind you, they'll often still have a lot of large play kit and will still have glitter and sand washed down sinks. Note, with regards to rent, that our village P&T isn't even formally consituted; they just collect coinage in a tin from those attending and whoever's on kettle rota will use it to drop off the rent and restock the teabags.
    I have not looked into this recently but Kirklees Early Years inspected all premises where mother and toddler/ nurseries met. As I said, mileage varies. Ha. Just checked and the official Early Years management has been subjected to the austerity axe, just like youth services.
    Ewan Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by boballan View Post
    Beware!! We had a playgroup using our hq for some years until they went bust owing us a reasonable amount of "rent". We had a strict agreement but they still pushed the boundaries. They required several changes which were not necessary from our own useage but they always claimed OFSTED, Local authority or HSE rulings. We complied where we could but always at their cost. We made it very clear that we would not do anything whch benefited the playgroup only. also, they seem to acquire more and more kit which they then want to store - we already had allocated a locked storage space for them but this was never enough. This was about 20 years ago and we were charging them around £8 per hour. This was a constant bone of contention as they were always looking for discounts, special deals and, towards the end of their existence, substantial reductions in the hourly rate. Now, we would not entertain having any nursery provision however worthy or lucrative it might be.
    I've seen nurseries who have a good relationship with the group, and that's the key. Locally it's hard to get into a nursery and those there are have trouble finding locations. It's probably that a nursery is at least as valuable to the community as a scout group, possibly more so. Bear that in mind, keep in touch with the PG leaders, set boundaries at the start and make it clear what's negotiable and what isn't.

    On the other hand if you get a painful group, who don't put stuff away and encroach on your space beware of how hard it will be to get them out, they will have significant local support and possible publicity in their favour.

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    We have a reasonable relationship with the ones that use part of our building - although their lease has come to an end and needs reviewing. Its made easier in our case because they have the extension to our hut that was built to house the Venture unit - which we no longer need now that Explorers happens (or doesn't) on a District level. They also have their own area of grounds which they've (at their own cost) used to add their own bits like an astro turf area and some climbing structures and play houses. In theory that means they don't have to encroach on our space and don't cause issues over storage. In reality its not quite that perfect (they have use of our hall for wet weather active sessions when they can't run around outside and there are occasionally things left around outside out of their area) but its not so much as to be an ongoing issue. I think their annual rent is about £5k, but it is a relatively small space (probably the size of a tennis court inclusive of kitchens, toilets, offices etc) and that limits the number of kids they have which in turn limits their viability if the rent is too high. As far as I'm aware we haven't had any requests to do things to our part of the building for their benefit - I think they realise that they have it on a "take it or leave it" basis. I think from our perspective because our site can be a bit hidden and isolated, its useful to have it occupied most of the week as this helps minimise vandalism etc.
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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    You need to also be working out what it actually costs you to run your hall by the day/hour etc. We recently reviewed our hire charges and looked at all the bills and divided them up to give us a cost per hour and we worked from that.
    James

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    Iím aware of Scout Groups who earn c. £20k per year from licensing their hall to playgroups daytime Monday to Friday. That level of income is not to be turned away lightly even it it does involve some small amount of work or inconvenience.

    Itís important to know the true cost of running your hall during these hours as thatís your baseline price. But itís also important to know your local commercial market rates as thatís what you should be aiming to charge. For this youíll need local market knowledge of comparable facilities.

    Be aware of other potential downsides of earning significant income from hall lettings e.g. your local authority my chose to not waive business rates, PPL PRS licensing issues, etc.

    If I was building a Scout HQ today Iíd include one extra store room just for the playgroup that Iíd want to hire to for the steady income stream.

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    Try contacting the 13th Coventry, they have a newish building that is also used by a nursery. I'm sure they'd be happy to share their experiences.

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    One angle for calculating prices would be to look at adverts for nursery premises hire. That would give an idea both of national averages, and also of the 'going rate' in your locality.

    In terms of what to consider, a big one would be to what extent they will be allowed to use hall equipment, and what their storage requirements would be. When we gained a nursery they took over our walk-in cupboard, installed three sheds, and still have outdoor play equipment around the outside of our building. In exchange they paid for a large storage shed for our stuff.

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