Meeting to be held to advise on Stanley Halls takeover plans
COMMUNITY groups keen to take over the running of the Stanley Halls in South Norwood will learn what is expected of them tonight.
The council is organising an open meeting at the halls in South Norwood Hill this evening from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.
The council has cut funding for the running of the halls but made it plain that while retaining ownership of the buildings, it is keen to see their operation taken over by a local group.
Officers will be at the meeting to outline how organisations should apply and what will be required of anyone winning the contract.
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The council has also published a brochure outlining some of its parameters for a takeover.
It has committed itself to spending £750,000 on essential structural work but the brochure makes it plain that anyone taking on the contract will be required to take on a full repairing and insuring lease for between 25 to 30 years.
The group would be responsible for marketing and setting hire charges and keeping the income.
The brochure also points out: "The building will require considerable ongoing maintenance reflecting its age and heritage and this should be taken into account when submitting your application."
A council spokesman said: "The size and nature of this community asset transfer process means that the successful applicant for running the halls will have to demonstrate adequately that they have the financial and organisational capability necessary to manage them properly.
"However our clear objective is to ensure that groups of all size and capacity are able to make use of the halls in the future."
One group almost certain to make a bid is the Stanley People's Initiative, which has just received a £3,000 grant from the council to help with gaining skills necessary to produce a business plan.
It has been talking to the council for some time about its ambitions to increase usage of the halls by community groups and schools and create a centre for arts and crafts.