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HASTINGS TRUST: Trustees Statement on Members Voluntary Liquidation

March 2016

At its board meeting on 27 January 2016 the Trustees of Hastings Trust agreed to recommend to members that the organisation be put into members voluntary liquidation.

The Hastings Trust was created to improve Hastings for public benefit and since its inception in 1991 has played a vital role in the regeneration of Hastings and St Leonards. In April 2013 the trustees concluded that it would be prudent to embark on a gradual wind-down process as the then business model was no longer viable.

In March 2014 following a strategy review and after taking expert advice the trustees decided that the charitable objectives of the Trust could be achieved by making a fresh start. We aimed to stabilise the trust’s finances and fit the organisation for the future.

At an EGM in October 2014 we reported some positive progress including improvements to the Trust’s property and looked forward to entering into a new stage of consolidation and development. Since then the trustees, together with a small dedicated paid part-time team of two, have dealt with a range of issues and explored ways to develop the Trust. We have been successful in improving the estate generally; in particular the addition of two thriving retail outlets in Robertson Street which are contributing to the improvement of the America Ground.

But with limited resources to pay staff, concerns over current cash flow predictions, and reliance on a handful of trustees who can no longer continue to commit long hours to the Trust, we have concluded that it is not viable to continue. It was not an easy decision and only taken after seeking expert advice. We still have considerable assets and embarking on a voluntary liquidation managed by experienced Brighton- based insolvency practitioners White Maud enables us to embark on a responsibly managed wind down and closure.

We wish to assure the Trust’s tenants who are not in arrears that their interests will be unaffected and we intend that there will be a smooth transition for all.

In accordance with the Trust’s governing Articles and Memorandum of Association, any residual funds remaining will be passed on in due course to other charitable organizations in the town with similar aims, the decision regarding this allocation will be made by the members.

While Hastings Trust will then cease to exist, the trustees hope and desire that all the best aspects of its vision, energy and achievements will be a legacy that continues to benefit the town.

The Trust would like to thank the thousands of residents who have contributed to its work over the past twenty five years and wish them luck with their continuing efforts to make Hastings and St Leonards a better place for all.

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