Time for another update on progress getting the space and all the associated bits and bobs in place…and also a call for help!
Taylor Vintners have begun work on our member agreement, and I’d like to ask you all to help us craft the rules that should apply to members to ensure fair access and polite behaviour. There’s a wiki page where you can contribute your thoughts. We’ll use all the input here together with our legal advice to come up with the final membership agreement and membership rules.
I’ve ploughed through the insurance quotation from Aviva. It’s over 300 pages in the main document alone (and I really did read it!) It’s a pretty good policy, well designed for charities and non-profits with an understanding of donation income, fund-raising events, and second hand kit. There’s lots of little corners we need to work out – making sure we’re not double insured (for instance, we’ll also be paying the University for buildings insurance, as we’re part of a larger building), checking that the coverage levels are right, and so on. Also, it requires a few things to be tweaked – for instance, the policy currently requires mechanical key locks, but we want to use a card access system. Nonetheless, overall it looks very solid and well designed for our needs. Interestingly, it doesn’t actually require our premises to be alarmed. Thanks S-Tech for helping us out!
The access control and alarm are still being worked out. The University’s security provider is Chubb and their quote for access control and security alarm would give us a rich and well provisioned system, but it’s pretty steep unfortunately. So we’re exploring options for a standalone access control system again, which would be less “smart” (without fully monitored doors which report when they are attacked!) but functional enough for our setup to start with. I’m waiting on the University’s confirmation that this will be acceptable – fingers crossed – it wouldn’t've worked when other new occupants were coming into the adjacent premises but it might be OK now that they aren’t… So a bit of to and fro there this week.
I’ve also been tidying up our accounts and book-keeping, and registering Makespace for VAT. We’ve hit a bit of a roadblock here too – Simon had set up a Paypal account ready to take payments as a merchant gateway, and Recurly ready to manage subscriptions, but unfortunately due to a missed email we didn’t respond quickly enough to a request for information from Paypal, and they’ve cancelled our PRO agreement, doh. There’s a delay before we can reapply too. So I’m looking into alternative merchant gateways because it’s nearly time to activate our Founder Membership…Hopefully will have that sorted out this week.
The first draft of the lease agreement is pretty much done at the University’s solicitors and I look forward to receiving it soon for review. We’ve also made our first serious outgoing payment – to the solicitors for their side of the lease agreement work.