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Agenda item

The Future of York's Guildhall & Riverside

The purpose of this report is to agree the next steps necessary to secure the future of the Guildhall complex following the project review, as agreed by Executive on 30 July 2015, and in response to the recommendations of the recent Scrutiny review.

 

Decision:

 

Resolved: That the Executive approve the Scrutiny recommendation and confirm detailed project development work as follows:

 

(i)           Approve option 4 of the project review; to create a serviced office venue with virtual office and business club facilities.  This option secures the future of the Guildhall by maximising the benefits of; the different spaces within the complex, its heritage appeal, the accessible location, and also ensures ongoing council use and public access, in a mixed use development.

 

(ii)          Confirm the appointment of a multi-disciplinary design team led by architects Burrell Foley Fischer, selected following a detailed and EU compliant procurement process, and agree that further design work is undertaken to develop a detailed scheme and associated business case, based on the approved option.   Project development will be progressed on a stage by stage basis, drawing on the previously approved development budget of £500k, with a report back to Executive for final approval to proceed in summer 2016.

 

(iii)        Confirm the selection of a commercial operating partner. The project team will consider the most appropriate and advantageous lease or service contract arrangements.  The selection process to be confirmed following legal advice on the most effective option.

 

(iv)        Confirm a programme of engagement with the City’s business sector / target market to understand their requirements, facilitated through joint working with project partners; the Universities and Make it York.

 

 

 

Reason:    (i)       To ensure that the ongoing project development is based upon the most advantageous and viable option for this key council asset.

 

(ii)      To ensure that the necessary detail is available to inform an Executive decision on project delivery in summer 2016.

 

(iii)     To ensure that the Guildhall will attract the high levels of use necessary to secure future viability, delivery of the wider economic benefits to the City, and manage the financial risk to the Council.

 

(iv)    To ensure that the Guildhall offer will meet the needs of business and that the detailed business model is based on sound assumptions.

 

Minutes:

Consideration was to a report which asked Members to agree the next steps necessary to secure the future of the Guildhall complex, following the project review as agreed by the Executive and in response to the recommendations of the recent scrutiny review.

 

It was noted that the options under consideration had been:

Option 1 - A generic grade A office development requiring a new build north annex and including a high standard of fit-out, including air conditioning to this area, and with significant refurbishment of the retained Victorian office areas.  

 

Option 2 - A commercial offer envisaged as being a visitor attraction occupying the Victorian council offices, Guildhall and council chamber, with the south range restaurant and north range cafe bar included.  Additional food / leisure units would occupy a new build annex.

 

Option 3 - A generic grade A office development at ground floor level, but with 6 no. high specification apartments at first and second floor levels, envisaged as holiday lets, providing a rental income stream. This option would still require a new build annex. The Guildhall main hall and the council chamber would be comprehensively refurbished and the south range restaurant and north range cafe bar would be included.

 

Option 4 – A scheme offering serviced managed office space in conjunction with virtual office / business club services, based on a refurbished annex, with an additional floor added.  This would take advantage of the character spaces that would be created for hot desks / break out space allowing high density occupation. The Guildhall main hall and council chamber would be comprehensively refurbished and the south range restaurant and north range cafe bar would be included.

 

Full details of the project options and progress to date were reported together with the following recommendation of the Corporate and Scrutiny Management Policy and Scrutiny Committee, following their detailed consideration of all the options :

 

Option 4 –  was recommended as the preferred option as this was seen as a viable option, and the one which would best secure the future of the complex by taking account of the key objectives.

In answer to Members’ questions Officers confirmed that, in view of Members’ interest in the Guildhall, they would be kept fully informed as the project progressed.

 

The Chair also thanked Cllr Levene and the scrutiny committee for their work in relation to this project and reiterated Members involvement in the project as work progressed.

 

Resolved:           That the Executive approve the Scrutiny recommendation and confirm detailed project development work as follows:

 

(i)           Approve option 4 of the project review; to create a serviced office venue with virtual office and business club facilities.  This option secures the future of the Guildhall by maximising the benefits of; the different spaces within the complex, its heritage appeal, the accessible location, and also ensures ongoing council use and public access, in a mixed use development.

 

(ii)          Confirm the appointment of a multi-disciplinary design team led by architects Burrell Foley Fischer, selected following a detailed and EU compliant procurement process, and agree that further design work is undertaken to develop a detailed scheme and associated business case, based on the approved option.   Project development will be progressed on a stage by stage basis, drawing on the previously approved development budget of £500k, with a report back to Executive for final approval to proceed in summer 2016.

 

(iii)        Confirm the selection of a commercial operating partner. The project team will consider the most appropriate and advantageous lease or service contract arrangements.  The selection process to be confirmed following legal advice on the most effective option.

 

(iv)        Confirm a programme of engagement with the City’s business sector / target market to understand their requirements, facilitated through joint working with project partners; the Universities and Make it York.1.

 

 

Reason:    (i)       To ensure that the ongoing project development is based upon the most advantageous and viable option for this key council asset.

(ii)      To ensure that the necessary detail is available to inform an Executive decision on project delivery in summer 2016.

 

(iii)     To ensure that the Guildhall will attract the high levels of use necessary to secure future viability, delivery of the wider economic benefits to the City, and manage the financial risk to the council.

 

(iv)    To ensure that the Guildhall offer will meet the needs of business and that the detailed business model is based on sound assumptions.

 

Supporting documents:

 

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