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Decision due on Stadium for Cornwall funding

Decision due on Stadium for Cornwall funding

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 12:42pm 26th March 2018. (Updated at 3:45pm 26th March 2018)

By Local Democracy Reporter, Richard Whitehouse

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet will make one of its biggest decisions of the year so far on Wednesday when it considers whether the council should help provide the last £6 million needed to build the Stadium for Cornwall.

The partners behind the stadium approached the council at the beginning of the year to request public money which would enable work to start on the facility which is planned for a site near Threemilestone.

Here we look at some of the issues and answer some of the important questions around the project.

So, what is being discussed?

At Wednesday’s meeting the Cabinet will consider a report which suggests that the council could provide £3m with the remainder being provided by the Government.

A formal request has been made to the Government but no indication has yet been given.

Will the Cabinet’s decision be final?

No – any decision made by the Cabinet on Wednesday will only be a recommendation which will then have to be agreed by the full council. The full council will meet to discuss and make the final decision on the funding request on April 17.

West Langarth  stadium for cornwall

Where will the money come from?

If the council approves the funding the £3m will come from unallocated funding from the council’s economic development match funding. This is a funding pot which allows the council to provide match funding to projects which will help with economic development.

But, doesn’t the council keep saying that it doesn’t have any money and is having to cut services? And, if it has that money, couldn’t it use it to build something like a hospital?

Yes, but that is due to the drastic reduction in funding the council receives from the Government to keep the day-to-day services it provides running.

Any money which is used for the stadium is separate from that which is used to operate things like libraries, social services, road maintenance and children’s services.

The money which might go to the stadium would not be eligible to be used to keep those kinds of services operating.

Cornwall Council does not fund the building of hospitals so the stadium money would not be able to be used in that way.

West Langarth  stadium for cornwall

OK, so the Stadium for Cornwall group wants £6m of public money – but how much has it put in?

The total needed to build the first phase of the Stadium for Cornwall is £14.3m. Those behind the project have already secured £8.3m of private sector funding.

This is made up of £2m from Truro and Penwith College, £2m from the Cornish Pirates, £2m from Truro City FC, £2m from private sector borrowing and £300,000 from Greenwich Leisure Limited, a non-profit company which runs the county’s leisure centres.

What is included in the first phase of the Stadium for Cornwall?

It will include the West Stand which would have seating for 4,200 spectators with additional space for 1,800 standing spectators around the 4G pitch.

The West Stand would also have facilities on three levels – the ground floor would have the ticket office/shop, bar and food outlets, a health and fitness centre, team sports facilities (including changing and treatment rooms) and community sports facilities (including changing rooms).

On the first level there would be the education and training centre with four kitchens and the business centre with five offices, a meeting room and open plan business space.

The second level would have an education and training centre with two kitchens and a conference and hospitality centre which would have capacity for 500 people and 14 meeting rooms/hospitality boxes.

stadium 2

Isn’t this just a stadium for the Cornish Pirates and Truro City?

No – the partners would use the pitch for 180 days a year and the community  for 180 days.

The partners’ use would include Cornish Pirates, Truro City FC, Cornwall Rugby FU, Cornwall FA, rugby and football camps, Cornwall Schools finals and local club finals.

Community use includes Cornwall Rugby LA, Cornwall Women’s Football League, Threemilestone FC, Cornish Sharks American Football and community outreach programme.

What other benefits would the Stadium for Cornwall provide to the community?

The health and fitness centre would be run by GLL, which is already operating leisure centres in Cornwall, and would be open to the general public. There would also be a health and wellbeing programme which would aim to reach 120 schools and 3,000 of the most disadvantaged and least active young people.

A Cornwall Community Sports Fund would also be set up which would fund grassroots sport in Cornwall and provide money for facilities or equipment. It would start with £10,000 from the partners business plan and funded with 10% of all profits over £75,000 per year.

West Langarth  stadium for cornwall

If the council agrees to the funding would it be liable for future costs?

No, the report going to Cabinet is very clear on this. It states: “If approved, no further public funding will be available for the project, with the partners responsible for any additional construction costs. No public funding is being sought towards the cost of running the stadium. In order to ensure that the stadium will operate without any public subsidy, the partners will enter into an undertaking to underwrite any operating losses incurred up to a maximum of £0.3m/year for each of the first ten years of operation.”

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet will meet at 10am on Wednesday (March 28) at County Hall in Truro.

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