Council to consider transfer of Skipton Town Hall to a social enterprise
The decision was taken by Chief Executive Paul Shevlin after consultation with Policy Committee Members under delegated powers, following the cancellation of all Council meetings in August due to Covid.
A report that had been due to be considered by members of Policy Ctte, had set out an initial business case for the transfer of community assets. The plan aims to allow the Town Hall and the Arts Development Service the freedom to develop exciting services and activities.
A three-phase approach was agreed starting with looking at the potential transfer of Skipton Town Hall and the Arts Development service. A business case is to be developed for the transfer of Craven Leisure and then other assets are to be assessed on a case by case basis with a view of transferring to community groups.
The plan to transfer ownership of Skipton Town Hall, which recently benefited from a £4.7m refurbishment, will deliver savings in the region of £165,000 through reduced back-office costs and increased income. If the transfer went ahead the council would continue to own the freehold of the building but the running of the new social enterprise would be with the Board of a new not-for-profit Local Authority Trading Company.
It was agreed to hold a six-week consultation on the business case for the transfer of community assets with stakeholders in the autumn. A final business case will then be prepared following the consultation which will be bought back to Policy Ctte. A budget of £200,000 has been provisionally allocated to implement the final business case if given the go ahead by Members.
Cllr Foster Leader of Craven District Council commented: “ Craven District Council owns a range of assets that are currently managed direct by the Council for the long-term benefit of all Craven’s communities. Some of those assets which are vitally important for the health and wellbeing of residents, such as Skipton Town Hall and Craven Leisure, require public subsidy and will need continued investment and support. We want to ensure that we can keep those services operating and viable in the future so residents can continue to benefit which is why we are looking at different approaches as to how those assets can be managed locally.”