Cabinet considered the Old Town Hall report and the meeting was advised that the council wished to seek a tenant for the two-storey building under a new lease agreement. The council would appoint an agent to market the property widely and transparently, to ensure all interested parties have a chance to view, explore its potential and make an offer.
A letting would provide an ongoing revenue stream and help mitigate against its empty property costs. For example, this currently unoccupied building costs the council approximately £13,500 per year in rates, utilities, maintenance and insurance.
A significant amount of renovation work was required to bring the Old Town Hall up to standard and these renovations costs would be reflected in any lease deal to be agreed. These costs could either be reflected in the initial lease price asked, or by offering a rent-free period in the first year, or a reduced rent over one or two years; if required and was subject to negotiation.
The following Members spoke under council procedure 20.1:
Councillor Pugh proposed Councillor David Saunders seconded and Cabinet agreed the following recommendations:
1. To let the property via a commercial lease, detailed as option 1 in the cabinet report;
2. To give delegated authority to the Director of Property, in consultation with the Principal Surveyor to market the premises and negotiate Heads of Terms for a lease
3. To give delegated authority to the Director of Law and Democracy to sign all documents necessary to give effect to the disposal.