Booking Policy

Statement of Intent

1. The Church (Auditorium and Gardens – built 1825) and Community Centre (North Road Frontage, Roof Terraceand Office and Meeting space – built 1987) are the property of the United Reformed Church (URC) and are managed by Brighthelm Church and Community Centre Trust (The Trust).

2. The Trust seeks to promote the use of the premises by the United Reformed Church, the wider church and the broader community, in a responsible fashion, and in line with the stated policies and beliefs of the United Reformed Church.

3. The Trust will also debate, develop and publish its own Mission. The Trust will focus its limited financial resources on supporting organisations to meet at Brighthelm which share similar missional aims, often by reducing the cost of the rent, and will, on occasion partner with these organisations to jointly further the aims and objectives of the partnership groups.

4. The Trust will set a fair pricing policy that reflects the resources needed to administer the Brighthelm Centre, ensure legislative compliance, pay fair salaries to employed staff and keep the building in good repair thereby safeguarding the facilities for use and enjoyment by future generations.

5. The Trust welcomes the wider community to play a part in life at the Brighthelm Church and Community Centre, to visit, to attend events and to use and hire its facilities, be they office spaces (lettings) or meeting rooms (bookings), or to undertake quiet enjoyment of the garden, respecting other users.

6. The Trust seeks to encourage the use of the Brighthelm Centre by a full range of private, statutory and community sector groups. To this end and in line with Christian principals, the Trust will invest 10% of its annual turnover in reductions to full cost bookings thereby facilitating groups to meet at Brighthelm who may not otherwise have the resources. 

7. Additionally, the Trust will invite any person or group hiring the centre (the Hirer) to consider making a cash donation towards the costs of small community groups using Brighthelm. Where willing, the Trust will publish the name of these Hirers on its website and in its promotional literature, as key supporters of Brighthelm.

8. During 2018, the Trust will offer reductions to rates in the following three areas: Trinitarian Church Groups. 50% off the cost of renting rooms at Brighthelm up to a combined yearly total of £20,000 on a first come first served basis. These funds are to be used to support church meetings and to encourage new churches and para‐church organisations to rent the building. The funds will not be directed at staffing, equipment or office costs. Environmental Projects and groups. 50% off the cost of renting rooms at Brighthelm up to a combined yearly total of £20,000 on a first come first served basis. These funds will be directed at small environmental groups that wish to meet at Brighthelm and to support larger events such as green fairs, lecture series, conferencing and awareness events. Brighthelm is happy to be approached by a widerange of organisations with their ideas. Funds cannot be directed towards the support of political parties.

Support Groups characterised by individuals or small community groups that have come together for mutual support and fellowship, especially where the group is drawn from the most disadvantaged parts of society or where there is demonstrable prejudice or discrimination towards this group. Brighthelm reserves the right to seek clarity and evidence from groups applying. Typical meetings would include twelve step recovery fellowships, disability rights groups and therapeutic activities for mental health service users. Reductions will be on the hire of rooms alone. Brighthelm regrets it cannot offer reductions of this nature on catering or the hire of equipment.

9. The Trust will let office space at Brighthelm Centre to churches, community groups and any other person or persons who are operating activities in line with the beliefs of the URC and the Mission of the Trust.

10. The Trust will let office space for permanent usage under lease for periods of one or two years and is also able to let desk space for periods of weeks or months under licence as they become available in shared office space. All lettings will be handled by the Director.

11. All charges, leases and licence agreements will be negotiated and agreed between the interested parties.

12. Rent will be paid in advance and a deposit will be required. Community Focus – Reductions Available to Repeat Bookings, Low Season, Short Staffing and for Tenants.

13. The Trust will also make a number of other reductions available to those booking meetings at Brighthelm. These are reductions to the full price and cannot be combined with other reductions.

14. Repeat bookings: a. 20+ hours: 10% off b. 40+ hours :15% off c. 60+ hours: 20% off

15. Brighthelm tenants (those letting office space):a. All bookings: 25% off 16. August “low season”:a. All bookings: 20% off –to be advertised to ensure bookings are forthcoming.

17. UNDER REVIEW: Weekend rate when only one staff member is present 30% off. If this rises to two staff members, charges will be at full rates to ensure costs are covered.

18. All other reductions are at the discretion of Brighthelm Management.

19. The Trust will operate a Community Grants Scheme. Organisations with annual turnovers of less than £50,000 can apply for funding for the partial or full cost of a set of meetings or an event. The grant panel will meet quarterly and award such funds that are available to it up to £500 per organisation. Funding will be for the hire of space and equipment only. By operating this fund, Brighthelm will seek to support organisations to develop and become sustainable so they can generate their own income in order to meet at Brighthelm in the future. Decisions will be made with this objective in mind. Any one organisation will receive no more than two grants.

20. The Trust will operate a Minister’s Discretionary Fund totalling £3,000 for 2018. This fund will allow the Minister to bring organisations and groups to Brighthelm either for free of for low cost. This fund is to be used at the Minister`s discretion (having discussed the activity with the Director) for novel church or missional activity where Brighthelm is partnering or promoting the activities of a Christian or other group with which it is promoting a new Christian ministry or secular campaign in line with the Brighthelm’s stated mission. This fund is not designed to subsidise activity currently being undertaken at Brighthelm which can attract other reduced rates inline with this policy.

21. The Trust and its agents will happily create a booking or letting, or allow the use of the garden, to any person orpersons whom is undertaking activities not inconsistent with the Christian foundation of Brighthelm or the Mission of the Brighthelm Trust.

22. It is the desire of the Trust to promote hospitality and improve community cohesion and understanding between peoples and groups by seeking mutual understanding, by building bridges where there is conflict and mistrust and by fostering friendship between groups of people from different cultures, traditions and between those who hold differing opinions.

23. The Trust therefore requests potential Hirers do not seek to organise or condone activities at Brighthelm that are contrary to the above expressed principles and refrain from using or condoning language that is blasphemous, vulgar, racist, sexist or in any way derogatory or degrading to any person or group of persons.

24. In regards to the use of the Trust’s premises by other faiths and religions, the Trust extends the hand of friendship to others and wishes to increase dialogue and mutual understanding between different faiths and creeds. The Trust will therefore allow the use of its space for interfaith meetings, to promote understanding and dialogue between faith groups, but reserves the right to refuse the use of its space for worship by other faiths except on an exceptional basis and by application to trustees.

25. To these ends groups will occasionally be asked to submit a statement of faith, for consideration by management or trustees, or a short statement clarifying their values, or their reasons for holding public or private meetings at Brighthelm.

26. The Trust appreciates that, on occasion, views will be expressed in meetings held at Brighthelm, that are not necessarily the views of the church, staff or trustees but are aired as part of an on‐going wider debate oncurrent moral or political conundrums within society.

27. All groups and organisations wishing to meet at Brighthelm must provide a name and full address with a telephone number (and e‐mail address where available). The Trust will not make any bookings or lettings to anonymous groups.

28. The Trust realises that there will be occasions where any policy is not able to satisfactorily cover all possible requests for booking or lettings. Where there is concern or ambiguity as to whether a request for space is not inline with this policy, the potential Hirer will be referred to the Minister and/ or the Centre Director, who maychoose to speak with the Hirer, form an opinion and make a decision. The decision will be final and irreversible. Booking of Rooms and Use of the Garden at the Brighthelm Centre

29. The Trust publicises a price list detailing prices on a per hour basis for the booking of rooms. Normally the Trust will require a minimum period of three hours to be booked during the daytime and two hours in the evening but flexibility in pricing and arrangement is at the discretion of the Bookings Officer.

30. The core opening hours of the Brighthelm Centre are :a. Monday to Friday: 8.30 AM to 10 PM b. Saturday and Sundays are 8.30 AM to 6 PM

31. On occasion, the Trust will allow bookings in periods that are “out of hours” and will work with interested parties to ensure adequate staffing or other appropriate arrangements are in place to facilitate the booking. As appropriate, a charge for staffing may need to be levied. This will also be the case for events that require unusually large numbers of staff or technical support. Charging will be at the discretion of the Bookings Officer.

32. The Trust may take up reference before agreeing to a booking or letting and may additionally require a deposit of up to 100% of rental cost for a room booking where the person or persons hiring are unknown to the Trust.

33. All other charges will be detailed on the price list.

34. All Hirers booking at Brighthelm are required to have adequate insurance in place to cover their meeting or event. On occasion, Brighthelm may request to see the relevant documentation.

35. All Hirers must be conversant in the necessary health & safety provision for their meeting. Brighthelm requires that Hirers collect a welcome pack from Brighthelm reception which contains relevant Brighthelm Health & Safety policies, a template to write a list of meeting attendees in case of fire, evacuation procedures and atemplate for a Personal Escape and Evacuation Plan for any disabled attendee that may need one. Further information is available in the terms and conditions.

36. The Trust provides internal catering at the Brighthelm Centre. On occasion, the Trust will allow external catering under guidelines published in this policy. The minimal charge will be £30 with additional costs at thediscretion of Bookings and Events Officer.

37. The Trust does hire wine glasses and other cutlery and crockery for events and requests should be made to the Bookings and Events Officer.

38. The Trust will require 10 days notice for the preparation of catering orders. Brighthelm may not be able to guarantee catering exactly as the customer wants notice is given less than 10 days, every attempt will be made but a late charge of up to 20% may be applied. 

39. The Trust requires any Hirer or professional caterer that rents the kitchen at the Brighthelm Centre to:a. Pay a deposit of £250 b. For a Hirer, provide evidence that the Hirer understands and complies with the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 and the relevant Food Safety Act Codes of Practice. In the case of individual hirers, this is likely to be certification that individuals have a relevant food hygiene qualification they can evidence.c. For a professional caterer, the caterer must be registered either with Brighton and Hove City Council, or,if from outside the area, the corresponding Local Authority. The Trust requires a copy of the caterer’s Food Hygiene Certification d. Provide a copy of the public liability insurance certificate for the event and evidence that Brighthelm is indemnified from any liability from actions taken by the Hirer or professional caters. e. The Hirer will leave the kitchen clean and remove all surplus food from Brighthelm. f. Ensure that all equipment, china, cutlery etc. belonging to Trust is left clean and that the kitchen is left as found. g. Remove all waste and recycling to the receptacles provided are remove all surplus food from thepremises h. Remove any equipment that is brought into Brighthelm at the end of the hire period. Unless a space isrented to act as overnight storage. i. Ensure a member of the caterer’s staff to be present for the duration of the event

40. Failure to comply with the above conditions could result in additional charges being made to the Hirer. 

41. Whilst holding a Premises Licence, Brighthelm does not hold a licence for the supply and sale of alcohol.

42. In order to comply with current legislation, all alcohol consumed on the premises will be controlled or permitted by Brighthelm. No alcohol will be consumed without the permission of Brighthelm. Alcohol will not be consumed in the garden and spirits will not be served.

43. Customers can consume alcohol on the premises that they have brought themselves with the permission of Brighthelm. This alcohol will be for personal consumption (such as at a dinner) or for group consumption (such as at a function) only. This alcohol must be drunk by the person or group that brings it on to the premises. There can be no charge applied or any other system of exchange put in place for example where tokens are bought to be exchanged for alcohol at a later time. The event organiser must explain to Brighthelm what they wish to do, for example if an event organiser is providing a glass of wine, then the cost to this must be included in a pre‐bought ticket or charge applied for the event or provided for free. Brighthelm will seek to approve applications but retains the right of refusal. Brighthelm reserves the right to insist on staffing the event or regularly monitoring the consumption of alcohol.

44. Customers will not apply for a temporary events notice to run an event with alcohol at Brighthelm as this process is strictly controlled by the Trust. A charge of £500 will be levied on anyone applying to Brighton and Hove City Council for such a notice.

45. Brighthelm can run a staffed pay bar for customers but it will need to be organised a minimum of two weeks in advance so a temporary events notice can be put in place. The bar take will be a minimum of £250. Any shortfall will be passed to the customer as a charge.

46. The trustees hold retain the right to curtail any event where the management and/or staff of Brighthelm suspect that licensing laws are being contravened.

47. It is the policy of the URC and, by extension, the Trust, to require all building users who work with children or vulnerable adults to have a Child Protection Policy and Safeguarding Procedures in place relevant to these two different groups of people, as appropriate.

48. The Centre Director will require Hirers to provide a copy of this policy, copies of any insurance documents andcopies of DBS declarations for all paid staff and key volunteers who may come into contact with children and vulnerable adults. Relevant policies and documentation must be produced on request.

49. It is the duty of Hirers to ensure that their staff and volunteers have received the necessary training to work safely with children and vulnerable adults and have also made provision for the correct and thorough training oftheir staff and volunteers in regards to provisions under the Equalities Act 2010.

50. The Trust will be in no way liable for any challenges brought under the provisions of the Act where the Hirer of the facilities has been negligent in his duties towards any person or persons affected.

51. The Hirer is responsible for the safe conduct of those attending an event during the booking.

52. The Trust maintains its own Fire Safety Risk Assessment, but alerts the Hirer to the possible need to conduct hisown Fire Safety Risk Assessment for his specific activity.

53. The Hirer is required to co‐operate with the management of the centre to ensure that all precautions aremaintained.

54. Brighthelm produces instruction on what to do in case of a fire alarm. These are handed to the Hirer at the beginning of the meeting. The Hirer undertakes to read and act upon these instructions, preparing the meeting for how to evacuate the building if the fire alarm sounds.

55. Brighthelm produces templates for Hirers so they can keep a register of attendees in case of a fire alarm. Brighthelm also provides an evacuation chair for people attending events who may not be able to evacuate the building un‐aided. It is the responsibility of the Hirer to use the pre‐prepared template and alert Brighthelm that a meeting or event attendee may need the use of the evacuation chair. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the Hirer to prepare a personal evacuation plan for attendees who cannot leave the premises in case of evacuation. Brighthelm will need to be consulted two weeks in advance of the event to ensure the relevantsafety pre‐cautions are in place.

56. The Hirer must keep all entrances and exits clear at all times and conform to the maximum number of people allowed in the rooms booked or let. The Hirer will not interfere with or cover up Brighthelm’s fire safety equipment, warning bells, break glasses or exit. This includes the propping open fire doors which are designed to be closed.

57. The use of candles or naked flames is prohibited except by written permission of the Centre Director and will be restricted to special circumstances.

58. Smoking is prohibited inside Brighthelm in line with the law.

59. Those who wish to smoke can do so outside the front door where a receptacle is provided for cigarette ends and other smoking waste.

60. Smoking is allowed in the garden and users are required to use the receptacles provided for their smoking waste.

61. Hirers and other building users must comply with health and safety legislation and hold insurance indemnifying Brighthelm from any liability from the actions of those who hire space at Brighthelm.

62. Hirers may request to bring their own equipment on to the premises. This equipment will meet all relevant safety standards and will be made available for inspection by Brighthelm on request. Brighthelm does not allow electrical equipment on site that cannot be shown to be electrically safe.

63. Hirers must ensure that health & safety hazards are not introduced to Brighthelm by negligence, insufficient training or the Hirer’s personnel or by errors of omission. For clarity, examples would include introducing triphazards, boiling water in dangerous containers brought on to the premises without permission, the lighting of incense of candles or the use of electrical equipment that has not been checked for electrical safety.

64. Hirers can make provisional bookings with Brighthelm up to six months in advance. Provisional bookings will beheld for 10 days and then will be automatically deleted. If another Hirer wishes to book while a provisional booking is in place, every attempt will be made to speak to the provisional Hirer but if the Hirer is unable to be contacted or unable to firm up the booking then preference will be given to the Hirer requesting the definite booking.

65. Provisional bookings will be held as informal temporary agreements between Brighthelm and the Hirer. When abooking becomes formal the Hirer will request a booking form and on production and dispatch of this form it will be considered that a firm booking has been put in place and a contract exists between Brighthelm and the Hirer. It is acceptable for other details to be organised later.

66. Brighthelm’s cancellation policy is as follows: Cancellations of confirmed bookings must be made in writing via email. Cancellations with less than 2 weeks’ notice with a completed booking form will be FULL COST. Cancellations between 2 and 4 weeks’ notice with a completed booking form will be HALF COST. Cancellations over 4 weeks will not be charged. Brighthelm does not allow a postponement of a meeting.

67. Any booking made up to 10 days before the event is likely to be more difficult to organise. Brighthelm will introduce a charge of up to 20% extra on room rates to cover the costs generated for a later booking.

68. The Trust will require 10 days notice for the preparation of catering orders. Brighthelm may not be able to guarantee catering exactly as the customer wants notice is given less than 10 days, every attempt will be made but a late charge of up to 20% may be applied. Charges levied by Brighthelm Deposits.

69. Brighthelm will charge a deposit on all new groups of at least 50%. New groups will normally pay 75% when renting a larger space from Brighthelm, i.e. the Auditorium, Hanover Room, Stanmer Room.

70. Terms are currently 30 days. Terms for deposit invoices will be 7 days.

71. If for some reason funds must be returned, unless it is an error from Brighthelm, an administration fee will be charged of £15. This would be cancellation of an event within the time frames.

72. Brighthelm will publish a brochure detailing all the room charges. Charges are reviewed yearly in October for an increase from 1st January of the following year.

73. Brighthelm will publish a brochure detailing all the equipment charges. Equipment will always be charged at full price to ensure funds are available for its replacement or repair.

74. Brighthelm is able to offer limited storage to groups. Charges will range from £5 a box of materials to highercosts for those storing significant amounts of equipment in the building. Storage will never be free and organisations are not allowed to store electrical items for use on the premises.

75. Staffing will be free during the core hours of Brighthelm operation. However, charges will be levied for out of hours meetings and for specialist services. Brighthelm will publish the charges.

76. On occasion customers arrive and access rooms before the start of their meeting and stay on over the end. This is not permitted and will attract charges as rent for the time of access to the time of departure.

77. The Trust will maintain a set of “TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR THE BOOKING OF ROOMS” and will publicise these on its website and make paper copies available at reception and to all those hiring rooms. Both will be available to customers.

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