I have pleasure to present the Forty Ninth Annual Report of the East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund for the year ending 5th April 2016.
Covenanted and Gift Aided Donations along with Donations from the Lodges & Brethren totaled £13,590 a decrease of £7,249 on last year. This includes £4,520 from the successful endeavors of last years Provincial Charity Steward W.Bro. Stephen Lord who organized a Duck Race.
Bank Interest from all our Accounts and Dividends totaled £9,314 a decrease of £1,415 compared to last year. The rental income from the Bolton and Blackburn properties was £125,815 compared to £119,553 last year.
During the year routine repairs and refurbishment of our properties before re-letting saw our Maintenance & Insurance costs rise to a record level of £138,225.
Much of this increase was as a result of the monsoon type weather which the 9 Bungalows at Canons Close could not stand, resulting in that they all need re-roofing. Because of costs, 5 have been completed this year while 4 have been left to be completed in our next financial year.
We are now seeing a reduction in the Donations we are receiving from Lodges due to the start of the 2021 Mark Festival. With our continuing high maintenance costs, we are therefore closely monitoring the Grants that we are able to make to other Charities.
During the year Grants totaling £13,009 have been made to the following recipients: –
Devonshire 2016 Mark Festival 6,000
Provincial Almoners Fund 2,500
2021 Mark Festival (50% of Provincial Meeting Collection) 1,018
East Manchester Community Boat Project 1,000
Cumberland & Westmorland Mark Flood Appeal 1,000
Canons Close Careline Assistance 875
Minshull Street Court – Child Witness Room TV 253
Mosses Community Association 250
Priors Close Age UK Assistance 113
Expenditure for the year exceeded Income by £3,843. £10,000 was transferred to a Restricted Fund (to join £41,145 from previous years) which will be used for a large Grant to the East Lancashire Mark Festival to be held in 2021.
Spending intentions for the immediate future include support of the annual Mark Festival with a Grant of £6,000, which next year will be held in Berkshire.
The estimate for completing the re-roofing of the 4 Bungalows is £25,500
Relief will continue to be given, through the Provincial Almoner, to deserving cases, as required.