The Chairman reminded Members that there were a number of exempt Essential Reference Papers and that if Members wished to discuss the content contained in these, Members would need to move a motion to exclude the press and public.
Executive Member for Finance and Support Services introduced the report adding that the Council had entered the final stage of the Old River Lane project. He noted that a preferred developer had been agreed by the Executive on 26 February 2019 and the final decision for Council was regarding the capital and revenue allocation required for the new arts and entertainment centre.
Councillor E Buckmaster drew Members’ attention to a ministerial report regarding the future of town centres and the need to strike the right balance between retail and a range of other activities, such as art, culture and leisure. He added that this was a good opportunity to make a great leap forward and make sure that residents also had access to arts and culture in the district.
Councillor C Woodward welcomed the ambitious proposal and the comments made by Councillor E Buckmaster and the need to have a healthy retail development sector. He was sure that Councillor J Goodeve would make certain that there was a high element of affordable housing.
Councillor G Williamson moved and Councillor M Casey seconded a motion that the recommendation, be approved. After being put to the meeting and a vote taken, the motion was declared CARRIED.
RESOLVED – that with reference to the Proposed Capital Funding Package set out at Exempt ERP F and the Financial Business Case for the new arts centre, set out at exempt ERP G, Council approves:
capital allocation of £30M to fund the arts centre is made in
the Council’s capital programme;
a revenue allocation of £250,000 to fund the
East Herts’ share of the arts centre running costs be made in
the Medium Term Financial Plan from 2022 onwards;
(iii) a provisional revenue allocation of £468,000 be made to cover the required borrowing costs once all other funding bids/strategies have been exhausted.
The Leader commented that she was sure Members would be very proud of their decision and thanked Members for their support.