The Director of Regeneration and the Executive Member for Culture and Communities submitted a report, the purpose of which was to inform Executive of the outcome of the community consultation to date, and to progress from consultation to the delivery of a new community facility.
The overall project was being managed through the Council Project Management Office (PMO) and associated project framework and governance.
The Council had consulted with the local community on the design of the new fit-for-purpose community facility. The consultation commenced on 22 October 2018 and was concluded at the end of January 2019. Consultees comprised local schools, community groups, Community Councils, local Councillors and partner organisations.
Appendix I set out in detail the scope of the consultation and the associated questionnaire. The second stage of the consultation had, in addition to confirming the appetite for a new community facility, provided a number of preferences. These were outlined in the report.
Detailed scheme design for the fit-for-purpose community facility had been produced as a result of the consultation exercise, shown at Appendices II and III, and the revised cost estimate for the scheme was for capital investment of £1.513 million. The scheme design would be further developed into working drawings with a view to going out to tender on the scheme by May 2019. It was anticipated that the project would take approximately six months to complete, with a start on site in August 2019 and with completion of the building by end of Feb 2020, as shown at Appendix IV.
Additional office/community rooms had been provided as a result of consultation with community organisations, who advised that these would help support a more sustainable self-managed model for the centre. The scheme would also take into account best practice in terms of accessibility, as well as adhere to the principal of a dementia-friendly facility.
The scheme had increased in cost due to accommodating the wishes of the local people expressed during the consultation and enhancing the overall design / specification, however, these could be currently accommodated within the existing £2.5 million budget envelope.
Running alongside the tender process, the Council would invite expressions of interest from community organisations who were interested in running the new facility. The likely operating model would be based on the community asset transfer scheme, which provided for a 25-year lease supported by a detailed self-sustaining business model. It was hoped that an operator would be appointed prior to completion of the building, and would be in a position to fit out and operate the building on, or shortly after, handover.
Costings were also being obtained to remediate the demolished site to playing field standards, including associated drainage.
It was agreed by the Executive Sub-Committee for Property on 19 December 2018 that the remainder of the site would be utilised for football and associated sporting activities. This would allow the Council to develop higher value sites elsewhere and, in connection with the new fit-for-purpose community facility, create a community / football / other sport facility hub.
Other potential decisions and why these had not been recommended
Consideration could be given to a modular solution in respect of a new community facility, which could be erected more quickly and may be a more cost effective solution. However, at this stage, the scheme was being developed on a purpose built basis and this option would be evaluated further prior to tendering the project.
A potential second phase was being explored in respect of changing facilities to support additional football activity on the site. Funding for this second phase would be dependent on securing additional monies from other sources, i.e. grants, etc.
Toilet facilities for pitch users would be provided in the new building and current arrangements for changing facilities were considered adequate for users of the current pitches. In the event that wider pitch provision was agreed, provision had been made within the design to add further changing facilities should they be required. This maximised the space available within the building for community use.
Members wished to formally record their thanks to all of the officers involved in the consultation activity to date.
ORDERED that the outcome of the community consultation be noted, and the emerging design for the proposed fit-for-purpose community facility be approved.
The decisions were supported for the following reasons:
Members on 26 September 2018 approved in principal the construction of a fit-for-purpose community facility, and this was further endorsed on 19 December 2018 where it was approved that the site was designated a community / football / associated sporting hub.