Agenda item

Nos. 25 - 29 High Street, 'The Three Cranes', and No. 29a High Street

-           Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services to report.


Further to Minute No. 135 of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 27th November, 2013, Councillor Beck, Cabinet Member for Business Growth and Regeneration, introduced a report by the Strategic Director Environment and Development Services, which set out the formal request from a local businessman, Mr. Chris Hamby, for:-


·                An additional long term capital finance loan from the Council of £300,000 to bring the re-development of Nos. 25 – 29 High Street ‘The Three Cranes’; and No. 29a High Street, a former Georgian Town House, to a successful conclusion.


·                A grant of £190,000 from the Council to help bridge the funding shortfall which had arisen through the unforeseen delays and additional costs incurred by Mr. Hamby in delivering this complex heritage project.


The previous loan facilities were to facilitate the purchase and subsequent re-development of Nos. 17,19 and 21 High Street along with the following listed buildings: Nos. 25 – 29 High Street ‘The Three Cranes’; No. 29a High Street a former Georgian Town House and The George Wright Building.


Development by a private sector owner was necessary to lever in Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) to meet the cost of additional works to the listed buildings.


Mr. Hamby had since drawn down on the loan facility in full and successfully completed the redevelopment of Nos. 17, 19 and 21. Work had also commenced on the three Grade 2 Listed buildings, Nos. 25-29 (Alfonsos and Three Cranes) and the George Wright building and the work on these properties was scheduled to be completed by the end of December, 2014.


There have, however, been significant delays on the redevelopment of the three listed buildings. This had arisen due to delays in securing the HLF funding, the severe winters causing additional damage to the fabric of the building, additional unforeseen structural issues and subsequent additional costs associated with specialist archaeological and architects fees. In addition extra “abnormals” such as unforeseen works to the basement of 29 High Street and the party walls to 25/27 and 29 High Street have led to further costs that were not anticipated at the start of the project.  The result was that Mr Hamby was experiencing a funding shortfall in order to complete the full restoration of these important historical buildings.


The Cabinet, therefore, had two options to consider:-


·                Option 1 - not provide assistance


·                Option 2 – to provide further financial assistance


Cabinet Members welcomed the opportunities to support organisations or people through prudential borrowing where the benefit was for the Rotherham people and the Borough.


Resolved:-  (1)  That the financial support towards the regeneration of Rotherham High Street buildings as detailed in Option 2 of this report being the provision of a capital loan facility of up to £300,000 and the payment of a capital grant of £190,000 be approved.


(2)  That responsibility for drawing up the financial agreement on appropriate terms and conditions be delegated to the Director of Financial Services and Responsible Legal Officer.


(3)  That the urgent decision be exempted from the call-in process due to the need to secure additional funding and the need to meet HLF funding deadlines.


(The Mayor agreed to exempt this item from the call-in process due to the urgent need to secure additional funding and the need to meet HLF funding deadlines.)

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