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Mark Beever
Forum Participant

Hi Stephen,

I’m at Girton Grammar School in Bendigo. We hire out our school hall, theatre, gym and lecture theatre. Our Infrastructure, Maintenance and Grounds Manager oversees the bookings. The gym has a regular weekly evening booking with a local Basketball Association and the other spaces tend to be hired by pre-schools and community groups. We factor in cleaning fees and insist that the hirer has an appropriate insurance policy. Supply of an insurance certificate is part of the booking process, even for community groups. We occasionally allow not-for-profit community groups to use our facilities rent-free, but charge for cleaning and a nominal utilities/admin charge. The majority of our external hiring activity occurs in school holidays to avoid clashes or at times when we have a strong degree of certainty that the facility won’t be required for school use. The community goodwill generated by being as generous as we can be with our facilities is substantial. For example, a local community theatre company uses our theatre to stage a pantomime in the summer holidays. By charging them only a nominal fee, they make a decent profit which funds their other activities. They bring in audiences who perhaps wouldn’t have visited us previously and we ensure there are conveniently placed brochures marketing the school. We also request a free ad in their production program. It’s a good win-win.

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