The Executive Director of Economic Development and Communities submitted a report that sought approval of the Community Asset Transfer of Linthorpe Cemetery Lodge to Groundwork business case and for the transfer to proceed.
In promoting community-led regeneration to support an increasingly robust Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector (VCSE), the Council recognised the benefits of transferring surplus assets to community management. Such transfers had a number of benefits for both the Council and Voluntary Sector Organisations (VSO). The Council would save in the long term by increased value for money through sharing costs, increased usage and levered investment. For VSO such transfers provided increased financial security, promoted growth, increased capacity and sustainability and the potential for increased investment, in terms of potential bank borrowing and external funding.
Linthrope Cemetery Lodge had provided a base for Groundwork for 14 years. The building was the Tees Valley HQ for Groundwork, which supported 19 jobs within the town. Throughout the years Groundwork had undertaken signficant investment in the building to ensure that it was suitable for their requirements and also contributed towards improvements to the wider landscape of the cemetery.
If approved, a 25 year lease for the transfer of Linthorpe Cemetery Lodge, in line with the terms set out within the report, would be agreed and estimated to be in place by the end of December 2014.
The report outlined in detail that there were two options available:
Do not proceed with the asset transfer - continue with current lease arrangements.
Transfer the building to Groundwork. This was the recommended option.
That the transfer of Linthorpe Cemetery Lodge to Groundwork on a 25 year peppercorn lease be approved.
The decision was supported by the following reason:
To contribute to a robust Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise sector and to ensure the continuation of a valuable service to the residents of Middlesbrough.