Thank you for a great two years//
The charity GO (Great Opportunities) Together embarked on the Palace project in May 2015. Since that time, with the help of some terrific volunteers, input from the Job Centre, City College, photography students and many more people, led by the contractor David Welsh, GO have restored the whole of the back wall of the fly tower, cleared the building of pigeons and removed many skips and tons of debris. The auditorium has had extensive electrical wiring and the first lighting installation is now complete as a result of the crowd funder at the end of 2015, and GO wish to thank everyone who made this possible. The income from donations and the choir concerts helped to pay for building materials, and support contracting. The work on the roof has seen the dome having recently been made watertight, a large hole in front of the fly tower repaired and now only the fly tower itself awaits additional sealing. There are working sanitary facilities and a kitchen. The building is fully monitored by CCTV and presents in a clean and bright state.
GO has also been very busy in the community thanks to the team running Performer Tots for young people, the GO! sing choirs, the Arts Awards and GO Discover work. The charity has worked in two mainstream schools and were pleased to help College Road School year 5 students present an end of term Pantomime, Aladdin and his Magic Lamp. The arts development team also provided a half term course for young people and a vocal coaching course in Plymouth and Cornwall which enabled us to provide scholarship training places to students from Plymouth University, City College Plymouth and to several others in Plymouth who had supported the project.
Since October 2016 two things have occurred that sadly mean GO will probably no longer continue with the Palace project in Plymouth.
- There has been a revaluation of the insurance cost that GO as a charity is required to pay to carry out the work involved in managing the Palace project. This has quadrupled to over a hundred thousand pounds which now makes the current business plan impossible to carry forward. Go have so far been unable to find assistance to cover this escalated cost.
- GO as a charity and its individual personnel have suffered constant attack by the local press, some of which has been proven to be based on falsified emails that have been deliberately composed and distributed by person/s unknown to the charity. This has been made known to the distributors but they have continued to publish the same. Matters of falsified emails appearing from the press were raised with the police. These issues have grown into personal attacks on individuals, volunteers and even a person on maternity leave being trolled via social media and email, which as a charity we do not condone.
After two years of hard work, effort and long hours GO have no wish to bring the Palace project to an end and, despite the many rumors in the press of tens of thousands of pounds in grants and donations being received, this sadly is not true and the unexpected new cost of insuring the overall project means that GO are unlikely to be able to continue with the Palace project.
We wish to thank Manoch Berhermandez for donating to us a long term lease of the Palace and to have been able to give young and old the opportunity to learn new skills and become part of preserving this fantastic piece of Plymouth’s heritage which has now certainly been pulled back from the brink to a bright and airy building.