Un­ex­pected rent spike puts The Den’s fu­ture in doubt

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - ERICA MUR­REE

THE Den, op­po­site Biggen­den’s Beiers Park, is at risk of hav­ing to close its doors due to an unan­tic­i­pated 80 per cent in­crease in the rent of its premises.

Pres­i­dent Jane Thor­rold said it would be a ter­ri­ble shame if they were forced to close.

“We’ve been op­er­at­ing for al­most 20 years,” Ms Thor­rold said.

“The vol­un­teers have quite lit­er­ally put in tens of thou­sands of hours work over those years.

“In essence we have been pro­vid­ing a com­mu­nity ser­vice.”

Trea­surer Mark Copeland said the mag­ni­tude of the sud­den rental in­crease had been com­pletely un­ex­pected.

“We do our best to sup­port the lo­cal com­mu­nity,” he said.

“If we do make a profit in ex­cess of our run­ning costs it is do­nated to groups who sup­port our lo­cal area.”

Mr Copeland said that just last year, The Den made do­na­tions to the Biggen­den Hospi­tal Aux­il­iary, Biggen­den SES Cadets and Life Flight He­li­copter Ser­vice.

“For the most part our sales come from the trav­el­ling pub­lic, daytrip­pers and car­a­van­ers pass­ing through,” he said.

“Only a small por­tion is from lo­cal shop­pers.

“We’re try­ing to come up with a way to at­tract more lo­cals into the shop.”

The Den pro­vides a venue for lo­cal artists, pro­duc­ers and plant grow­ers to sell their goods in a shop en­vi­ron­ment on a com­mis­sion ba­sis.

Or­gan­is­ers be­lieve in­creased and on­go­ing lo­cal sup­port may keep the group up and run­ning.

The Den sells all man­ner of hand­made and home­made items, from hand­crafted jew­ellery to condi­ments and fudge, lo­cally pro­duced honey, lo­cally cul­ti­vated plants, gar­den or­na­ments and nu­mer­ous other items.

CALLING FOR SUP­PORT: The Den com­mit­tee mem­bers Glen Toovey, Jane Thor­rold, Mark Copeland, Robyn Znat­najs and Lor­raine Syratt are won­der­ing about the fu­ture of the craft shop at Biggen­den af­ter a huge rent in­crease.

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