Agenda item

Proposed Closure of Pudsey Civic Hall

To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Officer, Culture and Economy on the proposal to close Pudsey Civic Hall.




The report of the Chief Officer (Culture and Economy) presented a report that introduced information on the budget proposals for the next Financial Year (FY24/25), which include the proposals to close Pudsey Civic Hall.


The Chief Officer (Culture and Economy) and the Executive Member for Economy, Culture and Education attended the meeting and provided the Community Committee with the following information:

·  The venue is not meeting the income targets and the loss of income as per the car park is detailed in the submitted report.

·  The site needs investment, short-term and long-term and it is estimated that £328,000 will be needed for things such as upgrading the windows and addressing the issues with heating to be able to bring the building up to the required standard.

·  government regulations require all potential rental properties to have an EPC rating of E or higher before being let to tenants and so investment would be needed to lease the building. There is a number of investments required to be put into the building to get it up to this standard. Figures are estimated and set out in the submitted report.

·  A formal decision has not yet been taken on the closure of the building, and a formal report will outline the decision taken.


The following matters were discussed:

·  Clarity on the EPC rating. It was confirmed that the EPC rating is still required for commercial buildings. It was requested that further clarity be provided on whether this is a requirement for commercially leased buildings. Officers confirmed this will be looked at.

·  Members acknowledged that the car park figures as per the submitted report appeared to be the biggest issue and suggested that alternative functions be looked at in terms of this space and whether any alternatives can be done to make money on the site.

·  Members commented that the marketing strategy for the use of the building and rooms in the Civic Hall have not been well used as residents did not know it was available. Members suggested that better methods of marketing need to be looked at to better utilise Pudsey Civic Hall. It was also suggested that better use of nearby libraries and community venues be used to promote the spaces available. Officers confirmed that the council pay for adverts on social media for all events. Leaflets were stopped.

·  It was confirmed that a ‘spend to save’ case will be considered alongside the considerations for the proposal. It was noted that a final decision has not yet been made and the preferred decision would be to keep it open, subject to further considerations that need to be made.

·  The building is situated in a convenient place for people travelling to the building and people can use any mode of transport to get to the building.

·  The Executive Member explained that the council are being forced into making difficult financial decisions, and assets are being sold. It is un-known how the improvements will be funded.

·  Officers confirmed that the condition report for the building is not up to date and an amount required cannot definitively be provided without a report being commissioned. On-going maintenance costs to keep the building running are approximately £20,000. In the last year, this has been considerably more due to unexpected drainage issues.

·  Members urged that further conversations be had with organisations and community groups regarding the generation of events and ideas around funding streams. Members were keen to see alternative options to keep the building and maximise its usage by using alternative methods of marketing and having a wider discussion with various groups and organisations. It was acknowledged that this does not take away the need for the required investments as outlined.

·  Members commented that Pudsey Civic Hall is the only large venue space in the western part of the city, and it is used for ballroom dancing; important for those who may only leave the house for such activities.

·  Officers will investigate the figures for how many bookings the venue has had on a daily basis.

·  Members were clear that they wanted to see correct figures to keep the building running, and on-going maintenance costs and options in terms of maximising the buildings usage, as well as options to increase charges to make the building even more viable.

·  A member questioned why the car park was not being charged on a weekend and whether this is an option. It was confirmed that this model will be checked why it was put in place, but it was considered that this is due to large events taking place on a weekend and this offered people a place to park.

·  It was confirmed that some works have been done to the building over the last couple of years, but the substantial works needed are part of an on-going challenge across the council on budgets and prioritisation across the whole asset base and buildings.


The Chief Officer explained she would be happy to meet with ward members and any groups and will consider the suggestions as outlined above and will form part of any decision taken.


RESOLVED – To note the contents of the report and discussion during consideration of this item.


Supporting documents: