We do not receive any grant support from our municipality or from London or from the UK government or indeed from any trust-in foundation at the moment. We purposely set the model up so that it could be sustainable and it would not be dependent on government funding. Particularly at the moment that has turned out to be a good approach because as we all know the government funding is being cut drastically all over the Europe.
Instead on relying on government funding we rely on the commercial activities and we use that money to fund not-for-profit activities, arts activities, social activities. So the whole model is sustainable and in England there is a really big drive for this approach under the name of social enterprise. We call ourselves the social enterprise and in that way we are safe from a lot of funding cuts and a lot of the trends and fashion in grant funding that are apparent across a lot of sectors in the not-for-profit world.
There is always the negative side to everything that means that we cannot be creatively risk taking as we might like to be. We always have to make sure that we have enough commercial work in before we put out a cultural programme into place. And we are a little bit less free than if we had a lots of money available to us.
However I think that with the grant funding you are never free anyway. You always have to hit targets and achieve certain outcomes that the various grant funders want from you. So it is similar sort of world, similar sort of set of problems and challenges to creative freedom.
But I feel that without model relying on commercial work rather than relying on funders we just have a little bit more control of our own destiny and a little bit more direction and we can make a few more choices that perhaps grant funded organizations cannot make. And I think that is particularly true in a current economic climate that we are in at the moment.
There is a little a bit of support in kind of from the municipality in terms of rent that we pay in here. However it depends on which way you are looking in because the building was so destroyed when we took it over that we had to spend several hundred thousand pounds of our own money renovating the building but if you spread that over the ten years that we have the lease then the building is not such a amazing deal.
However for the area and the location it is still quite good and it does still allow us to operate a little bit more flexibly and little bit less commercially that we would have done if we take another building locally to here.