Exciting Partnership News for the VAC

Exciting decisions were taken on Thursday 20 October 2016 by High Peak Borough Council. Their Executive formally approved that their preferred partner for the development of the Victoria Hall building in Glossop is to be the Victoria Arts Centre group.

The Council declared their intentions to now explore fully the plans to establish the Victoria Hall as an independent Charitable Trust which could then raise funds and apply for grants in its own name and to manage the building for the long term. In the near future, further work will take place involving the Council (who own the building subject to a Trust), the VAC Team and the Charity Commission to make sure that the future uses will all be as close to those intended by the original benefactor who paid for the building of the Hall in 1887. Any changes resulting from the library being relocated to a new extension to the Adult Education Centre – which Derbyshire are committed to doing – will need approval from the Commission.

The Council have said that the Victoria Arts Centre proposal has emerged as the only alternative non-library option for the future of the building and have declared that priority will be given to working with this Group. This formal partnership will focus on commissioning a Feasibility Study of the proposals to create a community arts centre using the whole building.  This work will happen in wide consultation with many local groups and organisations which may be future users of the new facilities. There will also be a full survey of the building to establish what works are required to ensure it is put back into good condition given its status as a valued Listed Building. There will also be a strong focus on  work to establish a viable and sustainable Business Plan for the long term running of the new Centre.

This work will lead to the identifying of what capital costs will be needed, and what sources of funding for the renovation and adaptation of the building for its new purposes there may be and ensuring that a robust business case (revenue expenditure and income, market testing etc) is achievable. It is hoped that this can all happen in conjunction with plans for the Glossop Town Hall buildings as part of the Council’s Glossop Halls project.

There will be extensive processes involving continued engagement with the community, interested people and organisations with an interest in the Victoria Hall project.

The Leader of the VAC Team, Mike Bull, welcomed these developments saying “This is fabulous news for Glossop. Not only is the town to get a brand new state-of-the-art and purpose-built library but also the Victoria Hall Listed Building will be saved for community uses. The project will mean that there will be extensive new and high quality facilities for the town and for many local organisations to use and enjoy. This will include facilities for both professional and amateur drama, music of all types, dance and film plus all the supporting services that this needs. The plans are also to create the spaces for many varied community groups and uses on the ground floor including exhibition and catering etc.”. He added that “It is simply brilliant that our Team is so welcomed into a proactive partnership with the Council to achieve all this.”

So … watch this space. As work progresses community groups will be consulted and involved. If a viable Business Plan is going to happen that is all vital. It is obvious that without assured users for the future the project cannot get off the ground!

If you are interested in this project in any way and if you or a group in which you are involved might become a user, please do record this on the “Contact Us” pages of this website and give the VAC Team your contact details.

More news in due course!

Mike Bull
Chairman of the VAC Team
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