Note: Councillor Matt Boles left the room prior to the start of this item and was absent for its entirety.
Members considered a report on the potential sub-lease of Rose’s Sports Ground by Gainsborough Town Council to the Trinity Foundation, with a one-off capital grant to support the development of a 3G community pitch.
The following points were highlighted:
· WLDC own the sports ground, and it was leased to Gainsborough Town Council (GTC) for a period of 99 years back in 2010;
· The Trinity Foundation had identified a funding opportunity to provide a 3G facility;
· A sub-lease to the Trinity Foundation would ensure that they were bound by the terms of the original lease from 2010;
· Aspirations of the Trinity Foundation were to open up the site for wider community use, increase daytime use, establish links with educational establishments and provide sports courses;
· The development of the site would increase the value of a Council-owned asset and would increase opportunities for residents to access facilities to aid physical activity;
· Positive conversations had taken place with the Football Foundation who had indicated they were likely to fund the Trinity Foundation to the region of £600,000, leaving a funding gap of around £150,000;
· Any funding not used by the development could be ‘clawed back’ by the Council;
· The suggested Heads of Terms attached to the report not only addressed the financial aspects of the development, but also ensured that any users of the facilities who were displaced by the development were rehomed and given alternative facilities.
Members then asked questions of officers present. Further information was then provided, and is listed below:
· The Trinity Foundation had been in initial discussions with English Cricket, who had no issues with the potential relocation of the cricket club to Marshall’s;
· If the report were to be approved, it would facilitate an application to the Football Foundation in January 2019, for a decision in April 2019. Any facility would not be ready until the following winter, which allowed a large portion of time for consultation with those clubs affected;
· The site would not be predominantly for football; there had also been discussions with the rugby club;
· The feasibility study showed that there were approximately 72 teams that currently had nowhere to train;
· The facility would not be solely for the use of Gainsborough Trinity. They would use the site for training, but would pay the same rate as other users and would only require it on two occasions per week. Other teams bearing the Trinity name were not actually affiliated to Gainsborough Trinity Football Club;
· In some ways, the granting of a licence to GTC would ensure the original terms and conditions of this lease would be maintained. WLDC would have influence as accountable body for the Grant provided by the Football Foundation.
GTC approached WLDC some months ago on the basis that they didn’t have the resources to invest in the asset – the proposed £750,000 investment would be towards something that was not currently in the area;
· Members requested that an officer from WLDC sit on the Stakeholder Management Group (Steering Group) mentioned at Page 140 of the Heads of Terms document;
Several Members also made it clear that WLDC as landlords should handle the situation very carefully when it came to existing users of the sports ground.
(1) Approve in principle to grant a licence to Gainsborough Town Council in order that Rose’s Sports Ground may be sub-let to the Trinity Foundation;
(2) Approve a Capital Budget and expenditure capped at £150,000 to provide a grant as match funding towards the cost of constructing a 3G pitch at Rose’s Sports Ground; this is to be subject to the terms of a grant funding agreement;
(3) Agree to delegate the final amount and the Grant Funding Agreement to the Executive Director of Resources in conjunction with the Chairman of the Corporate Policy and Resources committee.