The Executive Director Economic Development and Communities submitted a report that gave an update on the Interest in the vacant Captain Cook Public House, Middlehaven and sought approval to progress a leasehold agreement which would secure the renovation and reuse of the asset.
Following significant interest and numerous viewings, Middlesbrough Council had put the Grade II listed Captain Cook on the market. A process of due diligence followed, however no viable tenders were received. This was largely down to the fact that each applicant struggled to ensure the financial viability of any proposal, based on the significant restoration costs and subsequent conservation deficit. It was apparent that viable disposal options were limited and it was increasingly likely that the Captain Cook Pub would not be brought back into use without the prospect of Public Sector / Grant assistance.
The report outlined in further detail the current proposal and the Heads of Terms negotiations.
The primary risk to Middlesbrough Council was that the developer did not restore the Captain Cook in line with the principles or milestones highlighted. However, retaining the freehold would help mitigate the risk. A further risk was the lost opportunity which would result in the disposal not proceeding. The current interest in the property, coupled with the creation of the Urban Park and Urban Pioneers lots presents an opportunity to bring the Captain Cook back into use, and in turn, support the regeneration of Middlehaven.
The Captain Cook was currently a maintenance liability to the Council and its Capital Programme. If left vacant, the building would only fall into further disrepair and subsequently the level of investment required to bring it back into use would increase. It was therefore, on balance, deemed appropriate to dispose of the property.
the development proposals for the Captain Cook Public House be noted;
the leasehold disposal of the Captain Cook Public House in accordance with the terms set out be approved;
a maximum provision of £50,000 to indemnify the developer against the cost of urgent repairs accrued during the investigation phase, in the event that the development did not proceed to completion be agreed; and,
a non-financial partnership arrangement between Middlesbrough Council and the lessee, with a view to accessing external funding to support the development be supported.
The decisions were supported by the following reason:
It is crucial that the Council finds a long term commercial use for the Captain Cook Public House that is appropriate to its listed status and position on the Middlehaven site. The building requires significant investment to bring it back into use, and left vacant, will only be subject to further vandalism and deterioration.