AUGB BLOG

28.10.16


AUGB’s Board is keen to improve communications with members and the wider community, so we are trialling a periodic blog which we hope will be a way of providing informal updates on various issues. 

Our first blog is from our Chair, Petro Rewko. We hope you find it useful and interesting, and we’ll be happy to have your feedback.

The week that was!

With the major refurbishment of 156 Holland Park Avenue now complete and just awaiting a date from the Italian Ambassador for the official opening of the Italian school, AUGB can now move to other projects in its pipeline. We will publish a portfolio of photographs so everyone can see the transformation, which will bring a significant new income stream over the next 15 years for the benefit of our community. 

The planned development at AUGB Reading to make the building structurally sound and create rental accommodation is now in its final stages.  Commencement is due in November with a June 2017 completion date. We met with the branch committee to finalise outstanding issues and discuss additional community needs and how they might be met. 

Other areas we are still working on to bring on line in 2017 are Bedford and Luton.  Both properties require extensive refurbishment but would bring in a good return to the AUGB Central Fund. With Bedford we are attempting a partnership with a local developer to minimise our exposure and financial outlay. With Luton we are working with the local AUGB branch to refurbish the current premises to bring it up to modern standards and enhance both rental potential and community facilities.   

AUGB Carlisle is up for sale. After a slow start and problems with vandalism we are now receiving serious interest in the property, which we are hoping will lead to a sale in the near future. 

AUGB Head Office 49 Linden Garden facade refurbishment is almost complete, with crumbling stone repaired and water ingress cured. What was a drab and tired looking front has now been refreshed and is back to its former glory. 

We are now working on a policy and procedure for branches to apply for Capital Expenditure funding from the Central Fund. You may ask why? It seems to have always been a bone of contention on which/why branches have received financial assistance and on what basis. To clear the fog we felt it prudent to create a procedure that all must adhere to, which will make the process transparent and fair to all. We need to create a discipline where Central office can set an annual budget for such expenditure and branches programme their capital works well in advance. This new policy will help us all to manage our property portfolio more effectively. 

Last weekend AUGB Manchester held its inaugural “Kultura Festival” which we hope will become an annual event in the GB Ukrainian calendar. Five bands were lined up (4 from abroad with UK based The Ukrainians) on the main stage with additional musicians playing in the lounge bar and dining area. Those who attended had an enjoyable and entertaining evening. A bigger turnout would have been preferred but I am sure that when the word gets around, next year’s event will  be even more successful. Well done to all who helped organise, stage and worked on the night. 

As for next week, we’re preparing for an academic conference on 5 November dedicated to the 70th anniversary of AUGB. This is a first for us, and we’re hoping that another first will be a live video feed so that those who cannot attend in person will be able to watch from wherever they are. We need to test the set-up and then hopefully let you know how you can tune in!

Petro Rewko    


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