After many years working for the town and surrounding villages, the Marlborough Area Development Trust (MADT) has decided to close its doors and close down its projects.
The announcement was made in the form of a release from the MADT Chairman, Martin Cook. The content of the letter is reproduced in full below.
Mainly working behind the scenes, MADT was best known for its groundbreaking Community Wi-Fi service and for introducing new generations to many exciting parts of the digital world as well as creating numerous other positive ventures for the town and area.
MADT’s Chairman, Martin Cook, who teaches at St John’s School, has issued this explanation of the Trust’s decision. The announcement was made in the form of a release, the content of which is reproduced in full below:
Closure of the Marlborough Area Development Trust – February 2022
The Board of Marlborough Area Development Trust (MADT) have decided that MADT as an organisation is to fold and therefore cease its long running contribution to the Marlborough community area. Since forming in 2000, MADT has facilitated a wide range of environmental, cultural, communication and education community improvement projects. Initial funding was from Kennet District Council. The local government changes which saw the formation of a single unitary Wiltshire Council saw MADT working closely with the Marlborough Area Board, but in a more financially restrained manner.
In recent times, MADT’s development programmes have focused on digital access and education; the most notable of these being the establishment of a free to use Wi-Fi service in Marlborough and several surrounding villages. Restricted funding streams and the difficulties associated with the pandemic has resulted in these programs grinding to a halt. At the board meeting of October 28, 2021, the directors resolved it was time to wind up the company. In this event the remaining assets will be passed to the Action for the River Kennet as per our articles of association, (defined since our inception).
Regarding the main development programmes that have been operating up to the pandemic, the following actions will be carried out in the next few weeks:
- Digital Making support activities: The operation of the St John’s School Digital Making Club was halted at the start of the pandemic. All the equipment used by the club has now been donated to the School and we understand that a school-run club is planned to start sometime after Easter.
- The dedicated digital projects Makerspace web site is in the process of being shut down.
- Community Wi-Fi: the pandemic had curtailed much of the routine on-site maintenance that is necessary to keep the service running smoothly, and as much of the equipment is now very old and there is now good, reasonably priced availability of mobile data access, the need for the Wi-Fi service is negated. The system will be closed in the next few weeks.
- The main MADT web site and email addresses will also cease to work in the next few weeks.
The Directors would like to thank everyone that has worked with the Trust from its inception in 2000, for their generous support of time and for the various grants that have been provided by both Wiltshire’s Marlborough Area Board and the Town Council.
Martin J Cook,
Chairman, on behalf of:
MADT Board of Directors