Stroud Town Council has agreed terms for the transfer of the Subscription Rooms.
The proposal is for the freehold of the venue to be transferred from Stroud District Council to the Town Council from April 1 2019, subject to completion of the usual legal enquiries.
Stroud District Council officers are also recommending approval of the agreement. The final decision on the transfer is due to be made at Stroud District Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee meeting on Thursday July 12.
The building will be leased to a trust which has been set up as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation to run the Sub Rooms.
The Stroud Subscription Rooms Trust will be responsible for running the Sub Rooms, while Stroud Town Council maintains public ownership of the building. The staff will transfer to the Trust when they take over in 2019.
As part of the proposed agreement Stroud District Council will provide a grant of £230,000 and the Town Council will provide £50,000 as working capital. The Trust also plans to raise funds to make improvements to the building.
The Town Council has already received more than £50,000 in community pledges which will be called on in the near future.
Stroud Preservation Trust has committed £10,000 towards the cost of employing an architect and submitting a listed building application. A procurement process is underway and an architect will be appointed to work on a feasibility study and public consultation on potential improvements to the building.
The current plan does not include the retention of the Tourist Information Centre in the Sub Rooms. Stroud District Council have set up a task and finish group to decide on the future of this service. The Town Council has offered to work with the District Council on how tourist information will be provided in the future.
Stroud Mayor Kevin Cranston said: “We are hopeful that the District Council meeting on the 12th will result in a positive decision securing the future of the Sub Rooms.
“It is the best option on the table, a win-win solution that gives the Sub Rooms a secure and bright future and the District Council be free of the long term liabilities of running costs and losses.
“The Town Council has found a great team of Trust members and has confidence in their ability to make a success of the Subs and so is happy to take on the risk of ownership with no income.”