Following the work undertaken by the Council in 2018 to better understand what young people would like to see in Alton by way of facilities, the Council is pleased to provide the following updates, below.
Dedicated Youth Hub
Following the appointment of the King's Arms to provide a Youth Manager for Alton from December 2018 the search has been on to find dedicated premises for the project. A building was identified in early March 2019 which would provide the right amount of dedicated space with exclusive use in the town centre with good ground floor access. The building is located next to the library and less than 100m from the Community Centre, making it potentially an ideal space.
The specific property in the proposal is the Bartlett and Butcher building at the bottom of Vicarage Hill. It is currently for sale freehold and the Town Council have been approached by the King’s Arms who would wish to take a tenancy on the building if it could be secured for community use. They have indicated that they would fund raise for the “kit out” of the building as well as approaching a number of trusts and grant funders who could potentially assist with capital grants to contribute towards the purchase ( any contribution towards the capital purchase could offset an element of rental over the duration of the tenancy)
A short presentation was given to Members in early March by a Kings Arms trustee, the Operations Manager Caroline Aeschliman and the Youth Manager for Alton Lisa Hillan as to why this building works for them.
The asking price of the property is £350,000 plus a suggested allowance of up to £30,000 for all associated fees.
The Town Council does not hold sufficient funds to cover the cost of purchase and would need to take out a loan with the Public Works Loan board to fund a percentage of the purchase. Details of the PWLB can be found here
As an example if the Town Council invested £130,000 of its own funds and took out a loan of £250,000 the purchase could be fully funded. Over a 30 year period the loan repayments would total c£12,000 per annum and the expectation would be to secure a rental of around £12,000 per annum based on the square footage of the property.
This would not generate a yield for the Council but would cover the cost of the interest and capital repayment and not result in an increase in precept. The rental income may be reduced though in the first year should the tenant have contributed to the capital cost of the building.
It is also suggested that any subsequent lease to the King’s Arms be on a fully repairing basis to ensure limited liability on the Council going forward (subject to the outcomes of the building survey, which may require caveats on the repairing nature of the lease.
Following the undertaking of full due diligence including building condition survey, energy survey, asbestos survey, flood report, health and safety audit of the premises for its use as a public building and an independent valuation, a full business case for the Project was presented to Full Council on the 24th April, with a revised case submitted on the 15th May. The reports can be found in the meeting section of the website or by clicking below. The public are also invited to make any comments on the proposals outside of the Council meetings by contacting the Town Hall directly firstname.lastname@example.org or their ward members ( details of the new council can be found on the Town Council tab on the home page)
Report to Full Council - Project Plan April 2019
Report to Full Council - Project Plan updated May 2019
Click here to see indicative repayment rates for PWLB loans (as at March 2019)
In addition the reports to Full Council prepared by the King's Arms in relation to the on-going work of the Youth Manager can be found below.
Reports to Full Council
King's Arms Report January 2019
King's Arms Report April 2019
Planning Permission has now been granted for the change of use to D2 Youth Hub at the Bartlett and Butcher Building
In the meantime we are currently offering a limited number of mentoring sessions. For more information click here.
Free Town Wi-Fi.
From January 2019, you can access free Wi-Fi from Crown Hill down to Marks and Spencers, in Marker Square and in the Public Gardens.
Please go to http://www.altonfreewifi.com/ for more details on coverage and how to log on.
Replacement Skate Park
This project is now fully funded with a staggering £293,000 raised including major contributions from Veolia and the National Lottery. A planning application for the new park and floodlighting is being submitted later in May to East Hampshire District Council. Please visit the dedicated Facebook Group for more information https://www.facebook.com/groups/280049222750186/
Consultation and Designs
Education Minister and Local MP Damian Hinds visiting the Skate Park Consultation stand at the Yuletide Festival - December 2018