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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 16/01/2007
Supplementary Paper

Supplementary Paper - Environment & Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee – 16th January 2007

Agenda Item 12, Appendix G - Sponsored Organisations Scheme (SOS)
Referenced at Paragraph 10 -12.

Cranleigh Arts Centre – SOS and Supplementary Funding

1. In October 2006, Members approved a revenue supplementary estimate of 20,000 to cover an anticipated deficit in Cranleigh Art Centre’s accounts for the year 2006/07. The reasons for that deficit were set out in the October report to the Executive and officers informed Members at the time that CAC would be undergoing a review and that any additional requests for funding would be considered as part of the Council’s SOS scheme.

2. The CAC Board of Trustees has now undertaken a comprehensive review with assistance from Arts Council England, Farnham Maltings and Waverley Borough Council Officers. As part of the review process a visioning meeting was held on 9th November followed by a meeting held on 14th November to set key objectives. The outcome of the meetings in conjunction with a rigorous review of the centre’s systems and procedures plus consultation with regular users and potential partners has formed the basis of the recommendations in the final report.

3. In addition to the review the Board has taken steps to cut CAC’s operating costs. The Director post has been removed and the staff structure reduced from 3 f/t members of staff plus a p/t marketing post to 1 f/t Operations Manager supported by casual events staff and volunteers. The number of events in the autumn 2006 programme was also reduced to reflect a smaller staff team and events/workshops incurring a financial risk were eliminated.

4. The review process, together with the measures taken to reduce operating costs have culminated in the development of a new business model, which proposes that CAC runs without a Director and that any activities it undertakes are self-financing and can meet the core running costs. This Business Plan assumes base level funding of 29,200 from Waverley which is broadly in line with the current SOS amount.

5. However in order for the organisation to grow stronger and become more sustainable in the long term it will benefit from a more strategic alliance with Farnham Maltings would be beneficial. Both organisations share similar ambitions and by working together they can increase the profile and amount of cultural activity in the Borough as a whole, whilst benefiting from cost efficiencies released through the sharing of services and resources. Officers are therefore recommending that Members consider the proposal for Farnham Maltings to provide a management service to CAC for a fee of 12,000 per annum as an interim measure that will assist CAC in developing its core business and community objectives. The services provided by Farnham Maltings in return for the annual management fee would include the following:
v on-site management and support
v seasonal joint programming
v advice and guidance regarding artistic direction
v strategic support at Board level
v the expansion of programmes such as ‘supporting artists’ and ‘outreach and participation’
v assistance with developing robust Health and Safety procedures and systems

6. The requirement for additional funding to cover the management fee will be subject to regular monitoring and in the long term it is anticipated that the amount will be reduced as opportunities for project funding and shared resources come to fruition.

7. Members are therefore asked to consider as part of the Sponsored Organisations Grants awards for 2007/8, an additional 12,000 to the Cranleigh Arts Centre to enable the Farnham Maltings to provide a management service to the CAC.

Haslemere Educational Museum

8. Officers have met with the Chairman of the Museum and discussed the Sponsored Organisations Scheme application and the organisation’s finances. The Museum has seen an element of its external funding reduce in 2006 but a proportion of this was funding specific projects. The Museum has managed to reduce its costs in a number of areas.

9. Whilst overall, the finances appear to be buoyant in the short to medium-term and the investments are currently providing a degree of flexibility, it is clear that measures need to be taken to build a sustainable base in the medium to long-term if the Museum is to be able to sustain its current level of activity. The Chairman is proposing to address this by employing a funding officer for a limited period to boost the Museum’s capital and revenue resources to strengthen the long-term financial position.

10. It is the officers’ view that, given the pressures on Waverley’s revenue budget and the continuing demands on the SOS pot, other options for supporting the Museum should be considered, particularly if they assist with the long-term position. Various proposals were discussed with the Chairman around potential applications for the Community Partnerships Fund.