The Chief Executive submitted a report to outline the salient points in the business case for the Community Asset Transfer of Brambles Farm Community Centre to Hope Foundation and that sought approval for the transfer to proceed.
The report outlined that to promote community-led regeneration and to support an increasingly robust Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector, the Council recognises the benefits of transferring surplus assets to community management.
To support increased community management of assets, Executive Sub-Committee for Property approved a Community Asset Transfer (CAT) policy on 3 February 2012. The standard terms of CAT are for a 25-year lease, under which the tenant is responsible for repairs, maintenance and running costs all sit with the tenant.
The Council listed six buildings as potentially available for CAT in February 2012, including Thorntree Park Pavilion and Pallister Park Centre, which were subsequently approved for transfer on 9 May 2012.
The list also included Brambles Farm Community Centre. Expressions of Interest in this centre were duly considered, and on 13 March CMT selected Hope Foundation as the most viable transfer partner.
In line with the Councils CAT Policy, Hope Foundation had since submitted a business case to the Council to demonstrate that its proposal for transfer is viable.
The report gave details of the Business Case submitted by the Hope Foundation, further details of which can be found within the report.
The report outlined that there were 3 options available:
Option 1: Close and demolish the centre - not recommended
At a cost of £37,717 this option does not represent good value for money and would mean the opportunity to establish a satellite Hope Foundation centre offering training, advice and guidance to people in East Middlesbrough would be lost.
Option 2: Close and re-let the centre - not recommended
It may not be possible to let the Centre quickly, or at all, and this would mean the building standing empty for a period of time. It could then become a target for anti-social behaviour.
Option 3: Transfer the centre to Hope Foundation - recommended
This option represents good value for money, has local community support and will offer training opportunities to local people in East Middlesbrough
That the the transfer of Brambles Farm Community Centre to Hope Foundation be approved.
The decision was supported by the following reason:
To contribute to a robust VCSE sector and to maximise savings in relation to the Councils withdrawal of services from Brambles Farm Community Centre.