May 232013

What’s it like to run Wellington School?

Report of meeting held 22 may 2013

What’s it like to run Wellington School as an educational  establishment, a charity and a business?  This was the title of the talk given by Martin  Reader (Headmaster) and Tim Williams (Bursar) to members at this month’s WBA meeting.

In his fascinating talk Mr Reader gave us an insight into what it is like running one of the three largest  business in the town, with a turnover of nearly £10 million and over 270  employees.  He related the school’s history and its aims, and explained how it sourced its income through fees,  donations and investments, both from the UK and internationally. It was also  interesting to consider how important Wellington School is to the local economy  with many of the non-teaching staff and suppliers of goods and services, coming  from Wellington and surrounding areas; not forgetting that students spend much  of their ‘pocket money’ in the local shops. Mr Reader also outlined the constraints within which the school operated  and the challenges it faced, some unique to a school, others such as pricing, marketing and finance all too familiar to any business.

The meeting continued with discussions about a mobile phone application,  a town map, and planning applications relating to town centre retail units. Reports were given of the WBA’s support for  the change of use application at 28 High Street, which was granted by  Wellington Town Council at its last monthly meeting, and for Tracey Hall’s petition against the change of use of 3 High Street to a café, due for  discussion at the Council’s June meeting.   Discussion about retailing issues within the town led to the suggestion  that, following Mary Portas’ report recommendations, a “Town Team” - taking representation from various groups and organisations in the town - be set up to  look at some of these issues, and put in place activities to improve the situation.  There was general support for  this idea from WBA members, although it was said that the Town Team should not  be WBA organised and led; that should come from those most engaged with the  issues, such as town centre businesses.

Reports on a number of activities were then given, in particular about  the advanced preparations for the Wellington Carnival Committee organised Street Fair, to be held on Sunday June 2 – see media and other publicity for details.

The next WBA business networking meeting is to take place at 6pm on  June 19 at David Pipe’s stables, Nicholashayne. Please ring 01823 673245 or 07710 326698 for further details.

About Wellington Business Association

The WBA exists to link together businesses, to maximise potential from town events, give members a chance to participate as a business community, keep all member businesses informed of local business schemes and to provide a voice for traders to speak to the local councils on issues that affect us. This enables us, as a business community, to work together for our own good and for the good of our town.

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