Issue details

Shaftesbury redundant supermarket Feasibility Study

Decision

 

That a grant of £70,000 is made to Shaftesbury Town Council towards the redundant supermarket project, and if this does not go ahead for any reason, that instead a grant of £50,000 is made to Shaftesbury Town Council towards the Tourism Navigational Signage project.

 

Reason for decision

 

The Town Council and community groups wish to purchase a redundant supermarket in the town, and develop this with a mix of retail, commercial offices, start-up offices, commercial leisure and affordable flats, in partnership with a locally based community enterprise. This is an ambitious project backed up by sound business planning, and support is needed towards the redevelopment costs. Whilst the purchase cost is commercially confidential, the redevelopment costs for Phase 1 are estimated at £500,000, and a grant of £70,000 from the District Council would be valuable part of a mix of Public Works Loan Board funding and securing external grants, and it would also provide more certainty for the project.

 

Phase 2 of the project involves an affordable housing element (provision of flats), which can secure funding as a separate project.  However, a grant towards Phase 1 would enable the whole project to progress with more certainty, thus indirectly supporting the Phase 2 affordable housing element.

 

The supermarket project depends on a purchase bid submitted for the premises being accepted, with a decision expected imminently. If this bid does not succeed and the project is not able to go ahead, the second project is for Tourism Navigational Signage, a project developed from a Visitor Experience Action Plan.  The cost of this Signage project is estimated at £50,000.

 

The Council intends, therefore, to award a grant of £70,000 for the redundant supermarket project, or as a default, £50,000 for the Tourism Navigational Signage project, to Shaftesbury Town Council for the purposes as set out

above.  

 

Alternative options considered and rejected

 

Not to support either project. It is considered important to support Shaftesbury Town Council in its work on the redundant supermarket, as this funding support will reduce risk for the project. Likewise, if the redundant supermarket project does not go ahead, the Tourism Navigational Signage project is unlikely to go ahead without external funding support.

 

Budget Implications

 

£70,000 or £50,000

 

Legal Implications

 

None

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 07/01/2019

Joint Report: No;

Decision due: 14 Jan 2019 by NDDC Portfolio Holder for Community and Regeneration - S Jespersen

Lead member: NDDC Portfolio Holder for Community and Regeneration - S Jespersen

Lead director: Strategic Director - Martin Hamilton

Contact: Hugh de Iongh, Community Led Development Manager Email: hdeiongh@dorset.gov.uk.

Consultation process

Economy Board members.