Heritage Foundation announces revised plan following 'greatest financial crisis'

heritage Foundation strategic plan

A new objective of initiating a financial recovery roadmap in response to COVID-19’s impact has been added to the Heritage Foundation's strategic plan - Credit: Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

A revised strategic plan for Letchworth's Heritage Foundation has been published, initiating a financial recovery roadmap in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Its annual report and accounts for the year ending December 31, 2020, have been revealed, shining a light on the achievements of residents, businesses, community groups and Heritage Foundation staff in a year of unprecedented upheaval and challenge which triggered its greatest financial crisis.

Community response team letchworth

Members of the Community Response Team picking up food to deliver to people who were isolating or shielding during the early months of the pandemic - Credit: Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

The report reflects on the rapid response to the pandemic delivered by the Heritage Foundation, its partners and the community-at-large, including initiatives such as the Community Response Team and the COVID-19 Catalyst Grants Scheme which awarded a total of £113,099 to support of the town.

Beneficiaries included Wilbury Junior School, Stevenage Against Domestic Violence, Carers in Herts, The Settlement, Headway Hertfordshire and the Salvation Army.

The revised strategic plan continues to focus on improving life chances, making Letchworth a great place to live and driving investment in the town, but now a fourth objective has been introduced – initiating a financial recovery roadmap in response to COVID-19’s impact.


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CEO Graham Fisher explains: “The annual report captures many uplifting stories and is a celebration of how the community came together during the pandemic.

"However, while the Heritage Foundation is in a strong position overall, 2020 saw us dealing with some enormous financial pressures, losing over 20 per cent of our income and resulting in significant rent arrears from commercial tenants.

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“As a result, we were forced to make some very difficult decisions, closing a range of services and making valued colleagues redundant. Our ability to fund and support services is dependent on income from our property portfolio so we must work with tenants to re-stabilise this area.

“Overwhelmingly, last year underlined how well-positioned the Heritage Foundation is when it comes to understanding ways to mobilise and respond to changing needs.

"I’m excited to take that spirit into the future as we seek ways to support the town with changes and challenges in many areas of life including workspaces, housing, tackling poverty and loneliness, and improving wellbeing. The team and I look forward to working with the community on our combined recovery.”

A new strategic plan for 2022 to 27 will be published next year.

Letchworth residents can contact the foundation with questions or comments about the Annual Report and revised strategic plan via response@letchworth.com.

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