The proposed disposal of the Marske Mill Lane School site provides a unique opportunity for this iconic building located in the heart of Saltburn to be retained and developed as a community resource which will contribute to the regeneration of the town through:
- provision of studio, work and exhibition rooms to meet demand from local artists and craft workers, together with specialist facilities to enable and support the growth of local enterprise connected with the creative arts;
- provision of space for artistic performances, including drama and musical, to be rehearsed, prepared and created;
- establishment of a locally accessible archive;
- creation of opportunities for sport and recreation, including a skatepark and junior football;
- enhance the local tourism appeal of the town through the provision of hostel and camping accommodation and the encouragement of environmentally-friendly methods of transport.
To undertake this development, a bid for disposal of the site by CAT has been prepared by SCAA, a local registered charity and private company limited by guarantee which has managed the Community Hall and Theatre in Saltburn for forty years. SCAA benefits from the involvement of numerous volunteers and community groups in its activities, which has enabled management of the current premises and provision of a wide-ranging programme of events and performances to be undertaken successfully and profitably. The proposal to acquire a second site at Marske Mill Lane is a natural expansion which will complement and enhance SCAA’s existing provision, allowing the current premises to have a principal focus on final performance and exhibition.
The CAT proposal has been prepared in response to demonstrable public interest in the development of the Marske Mill Lane site as a community resource, as evidenced by attendance at several public meetings to consider its future and the registrations of interest completed by potential users of the planned facilities. The proposal envisages creating a regenerative cluster of creative businesses working in partnership with ‘the Hub’ in Redcar as an enterprise centre and extending the embodied principles to the wider East Cleveland area. The proposal demonstrates a level of community partnership which constitutes a real example of the Big Society, and will contribute to the delivery of many objectives in RCBC’s “Our Plan”.
Advice and input has been sought from members and officers of RCBC and other appropriate professionals, including members of Locality and Tees Valley PSG, in preparing the proposal. The proposal also anticipates developing further SCAA’s existing working relationships within the community, including local groups and voluntary organisations.
The positive and negative aspects of all four possible options for tenure of the site have been considered, and the preferred option identified as:
- Tenure on a Freehold at Nominal or No Cost basis, with the ability to sub-let or sub-lease part of the asset.
If RCBC determine this option is not appropriate, then an alternative option has been identified as:
- Tenure on a Long Leasehold at a peppercorn rent basis with a minimum term of 50 years and a preferred term of 99 years.
Comprehensive analysis of all factors which may affect the CAT proposal have been undertaken, including:
- External Trends;
- Market Research.
The CAT proposal is based on three phases over five years, bringing initial income generating opportunities on-stream almost immediately whilst allowing sufficient time to raise appropriate funding for the more capital intensive aspects of the development. Detailed summaries of each component of the development have been prepared, including:
- Room allocation;
- Specific costs;
The CAT proposal is based on continuing SCAA’s record as a financially viable and self-sustaining organisation, which has achieved consistent increases in profits and accumulated a healthy reserve. Detailed forecasts have been prepared for the first five years of the development, including:
- Income generated from specific identified income streams;
- Income required specifically from funding;
- Income requirement to be raised from other income streams;
Based on very conservative estimates, the development is expected to break even in the third operating year and the minimum working capital required would be recouped by the fourth year.
As well as demonstrable public interest, the CAT proposal enjoys the active support of local politicians from all parties, including:
- Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP and Saltburn resident Tom Blenkinsop, who has agreed to be one of the referees for the bid;
- all three Ward Councillors for Saltburn, two of whom (Joan Guy and Philip Thomson) have contributed to the development of the proposal as members of SCAA’s Board of Directors while the third (Stuart Smith) has also agreed to be one of the referees for the bid;
- Saltburn, Marske and New Marske Parish Council, two of whom (Bernard Storey and Jim Wingham) are members of the Marske Mill Sub-Committee which has prepared the proposal.
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