Annual statement to the membership from the
Board of the Isle-of-Wight Angling Company Ltd.
Its been a year since the EGM where the membership gave a unanimous vote of confidence in the Board to proceed with the Sale of the Somerton Fishery and the purchase of the Holliers Complex. The board has spent the year working hard towards these aims and we can now report to the membership that both these have been successful.
The sale of the Somerton fishery exceeded even the boards expectations with a final sale value of £700,000 being achieved with a further uplift of up to £50,000 once planning consent has been given. This has placed the Company in a very strong financial position for our future. The draining of the fishery was achieved by our contractor Mr Tim Oatley and the Board wish to record our thanks to him, for his hard work. The fish in the lake were old and of very poor quality and almost all of them were retired to other lakes on the island where they can live out the rest of their lives. Retirement was to be at a reservoir in Atherfield but the reservoir cracked prior to the emptying so other alternatives had to be sourced. 229 fish went to Langbridge and this is only fished occasionally. All avenues were tried by the Directors to find somewhere for them to go but to no avail so Langbridge was our only avenue. The best fish were moved to our Heron lake at Merstone and our members are now gaining some success in catching these fish. The sale of Somerton was completed on the 6th April 2016. The purchase of the Holliers conplex was also completed on this date after much hard work and negotiations between the Board and the owners of the complex. We now have a complex that will give members lots of pleasure for future years. Until we open Holliers we will still have the facility to fish the small lake at Rooklery country park. The company is now in a very strong financial position to allow us to improve all facilities and lakes for the benefit of members.
For the future the Board are going to seek planning permission of the land at the entrance to Gunville lake, this will not affect our access, car parking or fishing rights but will give us extra income for future projects.
Lots of work has taken place at Merstone during the year by work parties this includes paths around the lakes, tree felling, installation of Aerators and general tidying up of the site. Water quality during the year in Heron is of a concern to the Board and work will take place to improve the water quality for the future.
Questionaires have been sent out with membership renewals and a report on the answers to these questions will be compiled for consideration by the Board.
The future is looking very bright for the Company with financial stability and new venues for members to fish. The Board met on 26th April 2016 and has drawn up an initial improvement plan for 2016where the monies from the Somerton sale can be spent most effectively. After the purchase of the Holliers complex and paying out all outstanding accounts to contractors, solicitors and other bills, we are left with £480,000.
The one downside to all this good news is that our accountant has informed us that there will be a tax bill to pay and this amounts to a maximum of £120,000. The Board have decided that this amount will be put aside to pay the HMRC and that the accountant can reduce the bill somewhat for us. This tax bill would have occurred whenever we sold the lake during any financial year. At last years AGM we had an offer on the table of £230,000 which at the time we thought was not too bad and now finish up with £700,000 so having to pay a tax bill is not too bad considering the sum that was raised from the sale.
To summarise the plan for this year the Board wish to at :-
Finish all paths, car park and strengthen all natural banks, purchase 4 new Aerators for Kingfisher, repair all stages on Kingfisher, reduce the height of all trees on the complex, Siltex Heron and Kingfisher, place solar panels by the toilet and purchase dri-suits and lifejackets for work parties.
All this will hopefully improve the water quality on Heron thus allowing us to stock Heron without fear of the fish dying. Once water quality is improved 20 large Carp stock fish will be purchased for Heron. The Environment Agency have given us favourable answers to stocking programs and are even allowing us to stock Ide as well as Bream, Roach, Chub and Tench.
Holliers.Build toilet complex, landscape the complex, install paths around the lakes and make the car park larger, install electricity to the site, install passing places, fences and gates where necessary and pay for a one year maintenance contract. Also we need to purchase stock fish for the lakes. As there is lots of work to be carried out at Holliers an opening date for members to fish has not yet been finalised, although the work does need to be carried out before we allow any members to fish the complex. An open day where members may come along to view the complex is due to take place on the next bank holiday weekend in May on the Sunday and Monday between the hours of 1000- 1600. Also viewings by members will be allowed on all Saturday mornings throughout June and July between the hours of 0900-1200. As part of the purchase agreement on Holliers there is to be no movement down the access drive between the hours of 10pm and 05am inclusive.
Purchase 20 large Carp stock fish, obtain planning permission on land, fence of the site and extra work to improve the site.
The Board are still interested in purchasing a piece of land where we can build another lake and this is in delicate negotiations with the landowner.
Signage for all sites will be undertaken.
Monies will be put aside for future developments.
Most of the work will be carried out by contractors and quotes will be sought from any parties interested in carrying out this work for us. Although it is thought that some work could be carried out by work parties. With the acquisition of more lakes then maintenance costs will increase, so membership fees will increase to allow for extra costs to us. Copies of the 2016 plan will be available shortly for you to see, along with our estimates of costings.
The future is looking really good for the Isle-of –Wight Angling Company.