This week, I walked the space with the University’s estates management and we took photos for the schedule of condition. This is what demonstrates the state of the space when we took it over, so we can, if necessary, demonstrate we didn’t make it any worse whilst using it.  We spent a lot of time recording cracked ceiling tiles, missing floor tiles, taped up ventilation pipes, and so on. (Don’t panic – the space is actually in good nick for a workshop!  The most frustrating bits are the bare cables where the high power sockets were stripped out, the holes where the smoke detectors used to be, and so on.)

We also talked about timescales.  As ever things seem to be hectic at EMBS and our main contact is on holiday for the first two weeks of July. So, there’s two possibilities: one is that we reach engorgement before the end of June, meaning that the lawyers can take over then, and the other is that we don’t, meaning that there will be a 2 week delay, then engorgement, then the legal work.  Engorgement is when all the documents to do with the lease are in order, and we still have a few more to get.  Once we get to that stage it’s just a case of arranging signing – and ensuring the University Registry is available. Signing is normally on Thursdays but we don’t know the Registry’s holiday schedule yet. Let’s hope he’s staying home all summer… We’ve made some progress though:

I have the Energy Performance Certificate and the inspector’s report. The space has the dire rating of F, meaning really not very energy efficient; similar spaces built new would be rated B, and the average for existing spaces would be around D.  There are lots of recommendations for improvements we could make, although most won’t pay back for many years, and I suspect we won’t be investing in such improvements sadly.

We have the asbestos report. Generally there’s very little asbestos in the space and the activities where we’d need to be very careful are quite limited (no poking about above the ceiling tiles in one area, for example). There’s nothing major to worry about.

I have a paper copy of the plan but a final high resolution version is being prepared.  Hopefully with all the photos we took on Wednesday the Schedule of Condition will be ready shortly.

We’ve also paid the solicitor’s some more money this week, and done some HMRC admin.

Also, welcome to Julian Austin, who is joining us as an engineering intern this week – he’s going to be working on our outreach plan mostly. Thanks to the Royal Academy of Engineering‘s Leadership Award for supporting Julian this summer!

An update and a welcome

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