‘The BFRA is undergoing a significant step-change, to reflect changes since its formation.
The Brook Farm Residents Association (BFRA) was formed in 2004 when the Brook Farm development was still happening. It was formed with 2 objectives in mind:
- To lobby the developers, and the local authorities, on behalf of the interests and concerns of BFRA members.
- To provide some social activities for the over 300 paid-up BFRA members to be held ‘onsite’ at the Sax Primary School, as most residents were new to Sax and initially we had a community of strangers.
Now that the Brook Farm development of c.600 homes is relatively mature the need for first objective has diminished. As for the second objective, social events such as the big annual BFRA Family Fun Day run exclusively for BFRA families grew year-on-year and, in 2014, they ‘mutated’ into the annual summer Sax Music Fests – held on the Memorial field, and open to all.
As success grew on success, and this FREE event got bigger and bigger, attracting audiences of over 2,000, costs began to rise steeply in order to put on a professional show, with a workshops, a range of artists, promotion, staging and security. Fundraising became a full time job. Various sponsors have stepped in eg the Lottery, Saxmundham Town Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council.
But to put everything on a more business-like and professional footing BFRA as an ‘unincorporated association’ will be dissolved, with the formation of the ‘Sax Music & Arts Community Interest Company’ and an accompanying group of volunteer supporters. All the directors of the Sax Music & Arts Community Interest Company will be volunteers. Suffolk Coastal District Council has given BFRA a grant to employ Bridge Marketing consultants to help find more key sponsors.
Sax Music & Arts Community Interest Company will be incorporated by the end of November 2017, at which time all the funds and resources of the old BFRA will be transferred to Sax Music & Arts CIC. The aim of the Sax Music & Arts Community Interest Company is to become financially self-sustaining by 2021, whilst looking to develop an annual programme of music and arts events to help raise funds for the Sax Music Fest – the biggest free social event for all, in the area.’