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Dear Members,

We are writing to update you on the Board’s proposals to manage the temporary closure of the Club in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.  
 
Staff
We are pleased to advise that all of our staff have been offered the opportunity to join the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This means that they would continue to be employed by the Belfast Boat Club (although they are not permitted to undertake any work). We will make application for payment of 80% of wages through the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This process is ongoing.
 
Maintaining the clubhouse and sporting facilities
We are putting measures in place for the maintenance and security of our clubhouse and sports facilities.
 
We are reducing or eliminating all outgoings as far as possible. We estimate that the cost of maintaining the Club whilst we are closed is approximately £13,000 per month. This includes loan repayments and fixed running costs such as insurance, water rates, HP repayments etc. This represents a substantial reduction on the normal running costs for the Club.
 
As a Board we have worked hard to generate other sources of income in addition to member subscriptions. However, at this exceptional time the Club is heavily reliant on the continuation of member subscriptions in order to meet our obligations.
 
Member subscriptions
As we all deal with this very difficult situation, may we appeal to you to postpone any decision to cancel your subscription until the situation becomes clearer. It is no exaggeration to say that each individual subscription is absolutely vital to the Club at this time, especially as our other sources of income have ceased.

We would urge any members that do wish to cancel their membership to get in touch rather than cancelling the Direct Debit instruction directly with their bank.
 
The Board have brought forward two proposals that we hope members will consider appropriate:
 
  1. 20% discount on annual and monthly subscriptions
The Board has agreed to offer members a 20% discount on subscriptions.
This means that members who pay via an ‘annual subscription’ would benefit from the 20% discount up front ie a discount of £120 for ordinary members from £588 to £468 on their next renewal date between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021. Other categories would reduce pro rata.
 
This also means that members who pay via a ‘monthly subscription’ would also benefit from the 20% discount with a 20% reduction in the payment each month for the 12 month period from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.
 
All members are welcome to opt-out of the above discount should they wish to continue paying the current membership rate. If you would like to continue paying as before please drop a short email to membership@belfastboatclub.com
 
  1. £50 credit on the bar card
The Board would also like to offer all members who retain their membership throughout the closure of the Club a £50 credit on their bar card once the Club reopens. This credit will apply to Ordinary members only.
 
There will be further updates to members as we continually monitor the situation. If you would like any further information or have any queries, please contact the Captain at captain@belfastboatclub.com
 
Thank you for your membership of the Belfast Boat Club and please take care of yourself and your family.
 
Philip Weir
Captain
On behalf of the Board
25 March 2020

 
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