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Council opens engagement for Bedworth Civic Hall

Published on Thursday, 10th November 2022

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council is seeking ‘expressions of interest’ from individuals or organisations who might be interested in operating Bedworth Civic Hall

The decision to begin the engagement exercise was made by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council’s Cabinet at a meeting on Wednesday, 9 November.

The period of engagement starts on Thursday, 10 November 2022, and ends at 12pm on Monday, 30 January 2023.

The Council has stated it is not in a position to contribute any further cash to running the venue, or to capital investment it says is badly needed before it can be opened again.

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council Leader, Cllr Kris Wilson, said:

“The Civic Hall is a significant financial burden on the Council’s budget, costing more than £845,000 and forecast to increase in future years. The reality is we are no longer in a position to sustain this.

“We must safeguard the Council’s essential services which are relied upon by thousands of residents across the Borough. Therefore, the Council can no longer run the Civic Hall itself.

“We are giving an opportunity for interested parties to put together a sustainable and realistic business plan that could see the Civic Hall operated outside of Council control.

“Any expression of interest must bear the full financial burden of running the Civic Hall without ongoing subsidy from the Council so that we can prioritise the critical services that all our residents depend on.”

The Council wants to hear from parties who believe they have:

  • An interest, at no cost to the Borough Council, in operating the Civic Hall in future, or in supporting its future operation as an entertainment venue
  • A plan for the potential viable operation of the Civic Hall on a sustainable basis to the Borough Council in the immediate future, showing how the immediate capital investment requirements would be met
  • Ideas for continued or alternative use of the building in the current period at no cost to the Borough Council, while plans for the future development of the site are considered
  • Ideas for future use of the Civic Hall site if the Civic Hall building were to be replaced

The Council recently announced that the building will remain closed at this time, and that it is no longer in a position to operate the building, due to a combination of factors:

  • Use in past years that has regularly failed to reach building capacity or viable levels
  • Poor financial returns; and
  • A lack of capital funds for badly needed refurbishment that is required now

The Council also published an outline Bedworth Town Centre Vision, setting out how the town centre could look if new homes, and a new smaller civic hall and library were created in the same area.

Information about financial performance, investment requirements and past bookings will be available for inspection as part of the process.

Opportunities will be sought to engage people in a number of ways, and to reach out through community and arts organisations.

Once the engagement exercise is closed, a report setting out a summary of feedback received will be available for consideration by councillors.

The Borough Council will announce the outcome of this engagement exercise, and any next steps, early in 2023.