In order to produce the December2017 Blog I had a quick look back at the same month in 2016.
Reading the update from 12 months ago really highlighted how much progress has been made at Buckminster and how much has changed in a relatively short space of time (it feels like the year has flown by).
The December 16 Blog focussed on the clearing of the site and the marking and ploughing of the main runway as well as the imminent arrival of the contractors in January.
What a difference 12 months has made! The runway has really flourished and now represents a very robust and usable surface capable of accommodating most model flying disciplines and the surroundings have been steadily cultivated into a very pleasant environment.
The Phase 1 works also provided usable indoor spaces in the shape of the events building with workshop, kitchen, storage and the all-important toilet facilities as well as a separate reception area, office and meeting room facilities and a new archive facility.
The other important development is of course plenty of hard parking and the ability to camp on site.
This has been combined with a steady improvement of the overall environment leading to the creation of a very pleasant location.
One of the very positive aspects on the National Centre is the diverse range of activity that took place there during the first (part) year of operation.
During the course of the year we catered for a number of BMFA competition activities that would have previously taken place at other locations as well as a range of specialist events and fly-ins.
The other important aspect was the amount of sport flying that took place both from season ticket holders and also casual visitors on an ad hoc basis, the opportunity to camp on site really helped to boost usage and meant that we saw visitors from all over the country (from Scotland to Cornwall).
In addition we also accommodated some educational and PR initiatives as well as some non model flying “business” in order to generate revenue for the centre.
All in all a very positive start.
There are a number of thankyou’s required and whilst I have covered them during the various blogs and articles I would like to cover them again in this end of year summary.
As previously referred the team volunteers have been absolutely pivotal to the success of the National Centre and their collective input has allowed us to maintain and further develop the facilities beyond expectation, my sincere thanks to this good team of ladies and gents, I look forward to working with you all during 2018.
Thanks are also due to all those individuals and groups who have supported the project through visiting and using the facilities whether on a pre-booked basis or as ad-hoc arrive and fly, again we look forward to working with you all in 2018.
We would also like to thank all those members who purchased season tickets during 2017 (and those who have already renewed or subscribed for the coming year).
A season ticket is a great way of supporting the National Centre project and represents an important aspect of the overall finances, the season ticket numbers are already looking positive for the coming year.
Donations and sponsorship have also played an important role in the finances and development during the first year and again, thank you to those individuals, clubs, Areas and external organisations who supported the project through financial contributions in 2017.
The Year Ahead
So, what does 2018 hold for the National Centre.
As already referred bookings are coming in very nicely and the majority of the weekends throughout the summer are booked (there is still the odd space available).
This is of course very positive in terms of the finances as pre-booked events facilitates a baseline revenue forecast for the year.
Midweek availability looks set to be pretty good and there are events scheduled that should appeal to, and attract a wide range of members, everything from competitions to fly-ins and swapmeets, there promises to be a bit of something for everyone throughout the year, we also have a few new events scheduled which will assist in raising the overall profile of the facility and again we will be hosting the BMFA Payload Challenge which is going from strength to strength, assisted by the relocation to the National Centre.
Keep an eye on the website for news and details of upcoming events.
We look forward to welcoming more of you to the National Centre during 2018.
A Thousand Words
It’s often said that a picture paints a thousand words, so to round off the year and set the scene for the year ahead I have included a selection of images taken at the National Centre throughout 2017, enjoy.
With very best wishes for the year ahead.