Next stage in future of the Sub Rooms
Published: Thursday, 19 January, 2017
Stroud District Councillors will next week be considering the process and list of options to decide the future of Stroud Subscription Rooms. The Sub Rooms is the only council-owned and run arts and entertainment facility in the district. It has seen funding costs rising annually to £415,000 in 2016.
In October the council set up a `task & finish group’, or sub committee of councillors, to consider the long term future of the Subscription Rooms. As part of the investigation a consultation exercise was held to gather the initial views of users, stakeholders and interested parties.
Following this, the group has recommended three options to take forward, which will be discussed at the council’s Strategy & Resources Committee meeting on Thursday, 26th January. These include keeping the building under council control; allowing another organisation to run the Sub Rooms as a public arts and cultural facility; or selling the building on the open market.
As the Subscription Rooms is a registered ‘asset of community value’, in order to fully explore each of the three options, the committee will be asked to formally publicise its `intention to dispose’ of the facility, which will allow community interest groups and commercial organisations to put forward expressions of interest to buy or lease the Sub Rooms. This will allow all options to be considered alongside each other, but does not commit SDC to any one option until all the information is assessed by councillors towards the end of the year.
Councillor Steve Lydon, leader of Stroud District Council, said:
"The initial survey showed that the Sub Rooms has a unique place at the heart of the district, however cuts in government funding for local councils are really beginning to bite so rigorous financial management is paramount in everything we do."
Cllr Lydon added:
"We will be the first council in Gloucestershire to lose all of our revenue support grant from the Government, and in the financial year 2019/20, we will be paying over £500,000 back to the Government."
If the report is approved, an open day will be held in February to allow the public and community groups to see the information gathered so far and learn about the next stage of the review.
Anyone with questions about the review can contact Stroud District Council via the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The final decision is expected to be made late in 2017.