The historic Guildhall at King’s Lynn Arts Centre could be handed-over to a charity trust as part of a re-shuffle of leisure facilities.
West Norfolk Council is relinquishing all the arts and leisure venues, including the Corn Exchange, Lynnsport, Oasis and St James Pool, to a new trust called Alive.
But the King Street Guildhall is within the complex already managed by a separate Arts Centre Trust, which is now looking to take over the remaining parts of the building.
“The Guildhall is currently managed through the Corn Exchange as a hall for hire, but has not been included within the Trust arrangements,” said a report to members of the council’s cabinet meeting on June 11.
The Arts Centre Trust was created in 2012 to take over the running of the complex when the borough council threatened to close the venue as a result of cost-savings.
A group of volunteers took over the centre and have kept it open to the public.
“The Guildhall is the last piece of the jigsaw and is crucial to the centre’s continued success,” said trust chairman Alan Taylor.
“We are delighted that we could be taking over this fantastic venue, which has so much history behind it, and if we take it over, we look forward to a great future,” he added.
Creating the new Alive Trust for the remaining leisure services is designed to save cash and it is predicted that savings will reach £629,000 in future years.
A total of 32 permanent staff and a number of casual employees will transfer to the new trust as a result of the changes.
“In considering the future arrangements with the leisure trust, it is important to be aware of the clear indicators from government that the current regime of austerity is likely to continue until 2020. Further reductions in public expenditure are projected to be passed down to local government, resulting in continuous reductions,” the report says.
The leases for facilities will run for 25 years but the council will retain responsibility for building maintenance and paying utility costs.
The lease for Lynnsport exclucdes the open grass and sports areas and the Dutton Pavilion.
The College of West Anglia, which pays £50,500 a year to lease parts of the building for its sport faculty, will remain as a tenant, as will the Pelicans Hockey Club.