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Stroud District Council set to allow extra time for Subscription Rooms deal to stay on track

Published: Friday, 28 September, 2018

Stroud District Council is set to allow extra time for Stroud Town Council to take on the town’s Subscription Rooms entertainment venue.

To keep the 184-year-old building in public ownership, Stroud District Council agreed earlier this year to transfer the freehold and the business to Stroud Town Council for £1 subject to contracts being exchanged by the end of September with completion of the transfer to take place on or before March 31, 2019.

Unfortunately Stroud Town Council has only recently received employment and legal advice regarding the transfer of staff but is expected to consider and approve the contract terms at its meeting on Monday, October 1, so will miss the deadline of September 30 for contracts to be exchanged.

Stroud District Council Strategy and Resources Committee is being asked to seek approval to extend the deadline for the exchange of contracts of the transfer of the Subscription Rooms to Stroud Town Council, when it meets on Thursday, October 4.

Stroud District Council leader Doina Cornell said: “It’s a complex process and though matters have been progressing well between both councils, Stroud Town Council has informed us it needs more time.

"It’s not just about the building, there are staff involved too, and we have to follow due process.

"We will continue to work with the town council and continue to do our utmost to ensure that the transfer happens."

After Stroud Town Council proposed taking on the Sub Rooms and creating a trust to run the venue, Stroud District Council resolved to make a £230,000 one-off grant towards operating costs for 2019/20, up to £125,000 for roof repairs and £20,000 worth of fixtures and fittings. It is expected that the town council will pay £50,000 towards the project

A transfer would keep the Subscription Rooms in public ownership, saving Stroud District Council £230,000 annually in running costs.  

Significant progress has been made between Stroud District Council and Stroud Town Council. Legal agreements have been drafted and substantially agreed and Stroud Subscription Rooms Trust is awaiting registration from the Charities Commission.

Unfortunately due to delays caused by annual leave over the holiday period, Stroud Town Council has only recently received employment and legal advice about transferring staff.

It has told Stroud District Council it therefore needs more time to consider these matters and will meet on Monday, October 1 to discuss them.

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