This information has been produced to highlight some of the due-diligence that has been done for one of the fund-raising options.

This following information has been considered in making any decision before guidance was concluded.

  • Lottery Funding
  • Community participation with donations
  • Marquee to fulfil the immediate needs and test the market place.
  • Global fund raising campaign
  • … more

We will only cover the Marquee option. This research has been conducted by Sam Panchal and Dharmesh Panchal. It sole purpose was to demonstrate viability before guidance is given to the Executive committee.

Understanding P2 Project cost

We have taken the original floor space in our planning and the total cost works out as follows:

(Current construction costs is averaged £2200/sq m)

Ground floor = 2000sq/m x £2200 = 4,400,000


First Floor = 800sq/m x £2200 = 1,760,000

Totalling 6,160,000

This is a substantial increase from 21 years ago when it was approx. £850/m2 and the budget then would have been £2,380,000

The Bare minimum build would be Sub-structure (Foundation), Super-structure (shell) and Hardware (Doors and Windows)

This would give us a building just like an industrial unit from inside and would cost circ £2.4m.

Our current funds are approx. £150,000 and has taken last 4 years to generate from donations and revenue from the premise. This clearly indicates that a more proactive decision needs to be made in order to put several strategies in place to accumulate the required funds to even start the initial build stage.

Financial Analysis

In absence of any market analysis on the financial feasibility of the phase 2, we have summarised basics without employing an independent report.

To achieve more accurate analysis, a full study would need to be employed to get the necessary report costing circ £8000.

Following are some scenarios on financial decisions we may take.

If now, we assume we magically raise 250,000 and were to obtain £2M bank loan (by the way not easy without history of regular income) and we start the build, this would take at least 6 months during which time we need to service the bank loan

The calculations on 10 year repayment loan of £2m at current 11.4% works out just over £28,000 per month

That is £168,000 repayment for 6 months without any income whilst the construction takes place.

Also, as it would be minimally furnished, the revenue expectation going forward would be compromised.

These above figures are Not guess work but factual with current interest rates. More to the point, our full project currently is £6.2m, even if we raise £1.2m and borrow £5m, then the repayment on this sum is staggering £53,000 per month for 20 years on repayment at 11.4% in addition to the overheads. That currently is not a viable proposition.

Alternatively, we can wait till for ever until we raise cash to start the build, however, this would not be a proactive solution going forward as with time, the costs will only go up.

Risks with defaulting on bank loan payments

Technically, if the loans are not serviced in an orderly manner, the liquidators would step in and take any assets owned by the charity. This would include the building and land at our site. The banks can then hold the trustees accountable to service the shortfall.

The above financial scenarios are very ambitious. However, the marquee solution could provide us temporary facilities over 4 years and demonstrate the financial viability and history to become confidence for the main project with a relatively minimal cost. Furthermore, the marquee option is financially risk manageable.

Luxury Marquee

The marquee is an industrial grade executive structure with 3m eaves. Clear windows. The installation will require excavation for foundations and will take 3-4 weeks to assemble.

Our purpose for the marquee is to generate maximum funds to produce seed funds to enable first stage of the P2 construction. We would be looking to utilise max space on our land but within the outline boundary of the approved plans. The size will be approx. 25 meters x 35 meters.

With research to cost of hiring similar halls and marquee, a luxury marquee has a potential of earning 12-15K per week. Although this may look ambitious, even if we earn half the sum, our fund raising will be substantially elevated. It is expected that another fund raising is also run in parallel to get the target sum of £2.4M+.

We have reached out to 3 companies for quotations and selected one that most suits our needs.

In considering the marquee, many questions were raised and researched. Below are just the few:

  • Do we need planning permission as it’s a temporary building. Yes, for temporary structure up to 28 days a year is exempt from planning requirement. As the marquee is for 48 months, planning consent will be required.
  • Would the marquee belong to MKHA? No. we would hire the marquee as it would be cheaper than purchase for the quality we would need and by hiring, we may not have the maintenance cost.
  • How much will the Marquee cost? The cost varies vastly based on the size and quality of the structure. The typical cost to buy would be in a region of £500,000. The hire cost would be £100,000 for 4 years
  • Does it have toilets and kitchen.  We will build luxury facilities within the marquee.
  • Will the floor be uneven on the grass area.  No. a metal platform would be erected and wood on top and finishing off with carpet or another suitable flooring
  • Will the walls look like a typical marquee. No. a double skin on roof will be provided to avoid condensation and white lining throughout will be provided except windows. Additional solid walls will be built for soundproofing and the storage, Toilets, Kitchen and the meeting rooms.
  • Is there a security risk. There is an increased security risk due to the nature of the fabric but no valuable would be expected to be stored overnight.
  • How big will the marquee be. We are intending to put a marquee of 25m x 35m which is same footprint as the planned building. It will be much more spacy inside as there will not be any obstruction, offices etc in the space. After the ancillary structures are built, the open space will be 20m x 30m. This is large enough to have a standing audience of over 600 guests.
  • What are the expected challenges.  We are expecting objections by local residence as they will experience added noise and disturbances with the fact that more people would be visiting. However, we will work closely to work in harmony and have a good management plan.
  • What kind of revenue are you expecting?  As it will be luxury quality finish, we expect from £5000 for 40 weeks to £10,000 for 40 Weeks PA (200,000 to 400,000PA).We would breakeven by averaging £3000 per month over 48 month.
  • Will you need staff. Yes, in order to achieve the full potential, staff will be required to run and manage the events.
  • Will Non Veg and liquor be allowed.  Yes. The difference for the revenue stream is vast. For veg only and no alcohol venues, the expected rent would be 3000 – 4000 per day and would also have less demand. For Non-veg and alcohol, the expected rent is 8000 – 12000 per day with full audience. We could however have a managed kitchen facility to keep sections separate.
  • Do you need licence to serve alcohol.  We don’t need to but would help rent easier but will have time restrictions.
  • What will be the capacity.  Expected to be 450 – 500 from planning prospective but the accommodation is large enough to seat 600 guests.
  • Will it have sound system.  No. this will be provided by events company although we can help
  • Will it have lighting.  The marquee does not come with lighting but we will be fitting chandeliers.
  • Will. The volunteer run the events. No. dedicated paid staff will run the events
  • Do you have enough parking.  We have 98 spaces for cars and will try to increase this facility further.
  • Does it have portaloos. No. quality toilet facilities will be fitted. It is an executive marquee and also needs quality facilities
  • What if we can’t get any customers. Worst case is that we will know that having a large building is not feasible and will save us from losing large amount of money in long run by not having to build the main structure. We will also have a function place for our events for 4 years.
  • Can it be used for badminton or indoor sports. Yes.
  • Can it be rented for smaller events. Yes. Partitioning will be sought later to section out the space.
  • Will it have heating and AC. This will be hired in or purchased if depending on cost
  • How much will it cost. 160-200k. 85k marquee, 15K planning, 25k bathroom facilities, 30k Kitchen. Construction 50k (Ex VAT)
  • Do you pay monthly or all together for the marquee rental. We pay 40k with order and balance on complete erection.
  • Do you have to pay council tax. Unsure but I think not as it is a temporary building
  • How will you fund it. We will use interest free loans from community members. The outstanding will be financed by MKHA.
  • How will you decide who to pay back first. The first 30K will be kept in the bank for cashflow management. The balance will be paid to lender in a percentage manner every quarter after.
  • How long do you think it will take to bay pack the loans. Certainly, by year 5 but more likely at end of second year.
  • Does the lenders have any added benifits. Yes, they will have first refusal and a discount will be offered to the lenders based on the percentage they have lent for the project. The discount level to be decided.
  • Will there be staff during the function. Yes, there will be employed staff present when the expected guest is expected above 300. They will be to assist parking and general management.
  • Will I have chair and tables. We can arrange a local company to facilitate the requirements.
  • What happen to the funds if the planning is refused. After our appeal process, all lenders will be returned their money in full. The donations will be transferred to MKHA funds that is built up to start main Phase2 building.
  • What happens to the loan if I die within 5 years. Any outstanding loan will be paid to their estate.



We have applied for planning consent in March 2023. SmithJenkins planning and Heritage consultants are used in the process to obtaining the planning. They have obtained the required sound analysis report, Traffic movement report, Architects drawings and planning application.

In addition, we have had to get clearance from the ecology department, Get Topographical survey, Drainage survey and stormwater management reports.

The council have 8 weeks response time and if objections are raised, further 4 weeks to appeal. However, their date of 20th June 2023 has far passed and we are pressing them for a responsive approval. It has been over 8 month now due to queries and expected the planning to committee to make the decision soon is expected soon.

The approximate cost for this circa £15k +vat.

Benefits of a Marquee

    • Capacity 400 to 500 people (May be more)
    • Revenue scope from 2000pw to 12000pw
    • Cost of hiring the marquee 100k + 100K
    • We can learn early on how to manage events
    • We can learn on managing higher revenue
    • The successful running of the marquee will form a part of a feasibility study of our building project financially over 3 years
    • Marquee will allow us to utilise our current underused land.
    • Our problem for large venue would be eliminated while marquee is erect
    • It will produce income generation history for any loan application in future
    • Will gain confidence in public when events are seen at the site
    • Will get the local residents used to having the hall and functions at MKHA with regards to traffic, noise, inconvenience etc
    • We would only need to generate or save approx. 3k per month over 4 years to break even. More to the point, if we can’t, raise just this small amount, then the main building is not financially sustainable.
    • We will be able to hold large fund-raising functions such as Dinner and dance, Katha etc

Competative analysis

The local available venues with a capacity of 350 persons are very limited in Milton Keynes and local vicinities.

Some of these are listed below together with their average daily rent:

Venue Capacity Cost per day Additional addons Non veg and Alcohol permitted
Wilton Hall 400 £11K Their caterers only Yes
Doubletree 600 £12K to £16K Kitchen Yes
Whittlebury Hall 350 £8K Variouse Yes
Palatial Hall 480 TBC TBC Yes
Premier Academy 250 3K Not a prestigious venue + other addons Yes

Smaller venues

Venue Capacity Cost per day Additional addons Non veg and Alcohol permitted
Brewhouse & Kitchen 200 £7K+ Other catering options Yes
Delta Hotel 180 £9K+ Their catering Yes
Hotel La Tour 180 £14K+ Their catering Yes
Mercure Abbey Hill 150 TBC   Yes

The only Vegetarian option we could find other than some temples is the Oswald Centre in Potters Bar. The reason for this is lack of audience for this option and even if we were to ask higher Rate, they would not get the bookings/year required.

In addition, there are several schools with the capacity but do not offer full facilities required for weddings and receptions. We have not included them in this report as it is not a fair comparison.

The above details are for one day only and a weekend hire will be additional 80%. If we were to get even the lowest rate from above, we would be well on the way to hit our targets.

Challenges of a Marquee

    • Need planning permission and cost of £15k +vat
    • Require many paid professional report, sound seepage report, Abou cultural, Drainage, Topographical, Stormwater management, Ecologist report etc
    • Require transport movement report
    • Cost to hire approx. 100k + 100k for kitting out
    • Need to become vat registered to recover 20% (This is compulsory when turnover exceeds 85K)
    • Increased security measures needed.
    • The marquee will need a dedicated team to run and manage the rentals. This team will be salaried and not voluntaries.
    • Heating and ac will need managing
    • Toilets and Kitchen will need. building
    • The rentals will incur VAT
    • Members preference on keeping Vegetarian and Non-alcoholic venue.


What are our risks?

There are several challenges that we need to consider. Below are some and not an exhaustive list.


    • We are hoping that we get maximum community funding by individuals. This would be a request for a interest free loan with aim to repay fully within 5 years. This repayment is likely to be within 24 months. Any shortage of funds will be funded by the MKHA reserves.
    • We need £3000 per month on average to break even over 4 years. As the marquee payment is upfront to enjoy the discount, we would continue to 48th month with the marquee and plan recovery in year 3 of its running.
    • The first year will be slow in expected revenue as the premises needs to be established, staffing, setup etc. The running of the marquee will be outside the Execs scope. I.e. A dedicated team will run the show and answer to MKHA president who will in turn be the communication link between the two teams. This is essential as the salaried staff will be selected for the experience in running such business and the execs who do not have these experiences cannot negatively interfere in the successful running of the venture.
    • T&L marquees have been very accommodating with helping MKHA as a charity by heavily discounting the current available marquee of high standard. Due to the time taken by Execs in approval process (First approval in Aug 2022 by P2 project team, Then another approval by Exec on 24th Aug and finally re approving in Dec 2022), and the time it will take for planning applications (Approx. 3 months) the supplier may release the marquee to another client. If we then seek for a similar marquee if that happens, there will be a cost implication or our standard for the marquee will have to drop and in turn our revenue expectations will also drop.
    • Licence requirement for serving Alcohol. This will need to be applied for and operating times may be dictated by the licence. This will need further research.

Funding the Marquee

Although we have resources to fund the marquee in whole, we should seek out to receive interest free loans from the community members. This loan will not have a scheduled repayments but with intent to fully repay in 60 months (5 years). However, if our projection revenues are successful, we should be in position to repay in the 2nd year. Once the revenue stream is running, We should build a running reserve of approx. £10k and then the surplus should be used to proportionally divide to pay the investors on a quarterly (3 months) basis.

The community will be asked for support without waiting for planning approval. Initially, we would only take pledge (Promise to lend). A suitable contract should be drawn up for the purpose of pledge and Interest free loan contract.

We must also have form of recognition for the contributions by the investors unless asked to stay anonymous.

An incentive to the investors can be offered to encourage their contributions. One form of this is to offer the investors a percentage discount in rental of the marquee based on amount of loaned sum.

This discount would be limited up to 2 hires per annum.

Some examples are listed on the discount model available to the lenders. If our target cost is say £200,000, then

If a lender would lends full £200,000, They will be entitled 2 hires at 100% per year

If a lender lends £100,000, they will be entitled to 50% (because they lent 50% of the total loan) for each hire and maximum of 2 hires per annum.

If a lender lends £50,000, they will be entitled to 25% (because they lent 25% of the total loan) for each hire and maximum of 2 hires per annum.

And so on…

The above figures are examples and for guidance only.

Marquee Installation


Once we have approved planning. We will confirm with Marquee supplier the availability of the marquee and their availability for installation slot.

The installers will be using machinery for digging foundation points, assemble metal framework for flooring, apply wood flooring, Carpeting and lining.

We need to get registered electrical contractors for the necessary electrical requirements and lighting.

Separate to this, we will need to contract our washroom and kitchen requirements. Much of this may be dictated at the planning stage.

We should plan to have quality Washroom and kitchen facilities that we can re-use in our main building project.


2023 Q1 - January - Exec Approval 100%
2023 Q2 March: Planning [Approval still pending] 50%
2023 Q3 Installations 10%
2023 Q4 - Setup, establishment and marketing 5%
2024 Q1 - Marketing 0%
2024 Q2 - Running 0%

It initially seams that this would be quick, however, with approval process, planning approval, installation availability and other negotiations, this will be matter of several months.