Faversham Creek Trust unveiled progress on their plans at a packed meeting in the Assembly Rooms last Wednesday.
Director Simon Foster said over £100,000 had been pledged in support of the proposed apprenticeship scheme, and outlined what needs to be done on the Purifier Building to prepare it for use as a training centre. That will require further sums, and the work will be done in phases as money comes in.
He said it is essential that the sluice gates are opened to allow a dredging vessel into the Basin. The Trust hopes to work in conjunction with the Creek Consortium for a new wharf to be built on the west side of the Basin, to create a permanent home for sailing barges and a boost for the local economy. These historic and important vessels are finding it increasingly difficult to get winter moorings in the Thames estuary as waterside land is developed for housing. He showed how the Basin was full of barges and fishing smacks until recently.
Fellow Trustee Professor Chris Wright gave further details about the work being planned for the Purifier Building, including waiting for the results of a bat survey which is being carried out. Electricity has now been installed, the whole building cleaned out and he announced there would be an open day at the building. He said they have been monitoring the building for any signs of movement, and reported that it is in remarkable shape despite a few cracks which can be repaired.
Following the presentation, several further pledges of money came in, including two promises of £1,000 and more for smaller sums. The Trust’s ‘Sponsor a Slate’ fundraising scheme has raised over £1,000 so far, with over 2400 slates still available at £10 each. Membership has now climbed to over 200.
The Trust mounted an exhibition in the Rooms during the day with a steady stream of appreciative visitors, who were also able to see and comment on the proposal for flats on Ordnance Wharf. The Trust Chairman Griselda Mussett said she had heard only three peoplespeak in support of the planned flats. It was important that everyone writes to the planning authority with their views. She said Ordnance Wharf was important for its history and location, and not as a host for a block of flats.