One of the founders of The Station, an award-winning community arts and heritage venue in Richmond, is to stand down from the Board having been involved in the project for a decade.
Jim Jack resigns as trustee on the Board of Richmondshire Buildings Preservation Trust, the charity responsible for raising funds for the day-to-day running of The Station and the upkeep of the building. He was worked voluntarily on behalf of the project since retiring as head teacher of Richmond School in 2002 when, as one of The Station’s original ambassadors, he teamed up with members of the local community to organise fundraising events in support of the £2.7m renovation scheme. He went on to become the first Chairman of the Board in 2005, followed by Vice-Chairman in 2010.
Mr Jack is currently representing the Board in negations with Richmondshire District Council over the future of The Station car park and, despite his resignation, promises to continue acting on behalf of the Trust in these particular discussions until the issue is resolved. Other than that, he hopes to take more of a back seat and is to exchange his official role for that of a Station volunteer where he hopes to help out with future community events and the running of The Station’s Heritage Centre. At 65, he says he is ready to spend more time with his family and pursue other interests.
‘It has been hugely gratifying to have remained so closely involved with The Station for so long,’ says Mr Jack. ‘I’m not sure what particular skills I brought to the Board, apart from, possibly, my belief in the project from the beginning and my willingness to work hard for the cause. From the outset, we aimed to provide a community facility that would be used and appreciated by local residents. The Station has provided the town with an added dimension and we now have a fantastic film, food and arts venue attracting 350,000 visitors a year. I believe there are many residents who are proud of The Station and what it stands for. Five years since opening, the challenge now is to keep what happens in such a wonderful historic building fresh and of interest to everyone.’
As regards his new role as volunteer, Mr Jack is delighted to receive his volunteering polo shirt. ‘I will happily wear this along with fellow volunteers in making a contribution to the work of the charity. It is easy to forget that while there are independent businesses at The Station, the venue itself is run by a community charitable trust which is responsible for generating income to protect the future of the building. Like all charities, it relies on financial donations and the good work of kind volunteers from the local community. Extra help is always needed and I will willingly do my bit whenever I can.’
Mr Jack, who is also a member of the well-known local folk band Fourum, will continue to speak at WI meetings and to other community groups about the history of The Station and looks forward to becoming one of The Station’s volunteer guides.
Station Manager, Laura Hannaway, adds: ‘Jim is one of the longest-serving trustees and will be sadly missed, but like many of the founder members he has worked tirelessly for the project for many years and deserves a well-earned rest. He will still be a familiar face around the building as one of our invaluable volunteers. We wish him all the best and thank him hugely for everything he has done for The Station.’