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Reduced rent may not be enough to secure Kingsway centre's long-term future

By The Citizen  |  Posted: March 28, 2014

Reduced rent may not be enough to secure Kingsway centre's long-term future

Kingsway Community Centre under construction

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CUT-PRICE rent for 18 months at the new Kingsway Community Centre may not be enough to secure the long-term use of the new purpose-built facility.

It is being built by developers and handed over to Gloucester City Council free of charge. But a decision to lease the building back to the community for £10,995 a year has angered some who said they had been assured it would be offered for just a “peppercorn rent”.

The city council responded to community complaints of profiteering by claiming whoever takes on the building will have a valuable asset able to generate “extensive revenue streams”.

It is due to be handed over to the city council by developers in the summer.

The council plans to charge a rental to the group or organisation that will operate it – but not until their third year of operation.

Councillor Frederick Wood, City Council Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources, said: “We will be giving one year’s free rental and the second at half price.

“It is anticipated that the centre will provide a competent operator with a great opportunity to generate income from hire of the various spaces. The potential revenue streams are varied and could include hire of facilities to clubs and groups, use for fitness activities, educational and leisure purposes, weddings and other family occasions.

“In the current economic climate, we have to be realistic about our approach to rents and charges. However, by granting an initial rent-free period of 12 months and a further period of 12 months at half rent, we will assist the successful applicant with building income and creating a sustainable community facility.”

The centre incorporates two function rooms with a kitchen and bar facilities, office and separate male, female and children’s toilets.

Parish councillor Steve Smith said: “We were aware of the 18 months reduced rental period but we were promised the building would have a peppercorn rent, that is not £11,000 a year.

“We have already had two groups say that it would be too expensive for them to use once they have paid the rent to Gloucester City Council and then for utilities.”

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7 comments

  • JemmyWood  |  March 30 2014, 8:32PM

    Sexymamma67 thank you for commenting on my ability for learning, it has long troubled me and I am glad that an ananomous internet person like yourself has taken it upon herself to put me straight. If I could, I would get rid of QPC in total. Other parts of the city manage pretty well without one, why should we be any different. But, I'm pretty sure if you took Quedgeley out of your address, it would still get to you. You may find it was only added initially by estate agents to hide the fact the house was infact in Kingsway and not Quedgeley. The local Government Boundary Commision also says its a seperate entity.... Mmmmmmm who to believe... The local Government Boundary Commision or you? But once again, I find myself agreeing with Jas37....

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  • sexymamma67  |  March 29 2014, 9:40AM

    JemmyWood is a total idiot... Kingsway residents have been putting money into QPC for years without receiving any services from them as the land isn't adopted... Get your facts right as addresses in Kingsway are infact KIngsway, Quedgeley....... All Quedgeley residents have therefore benefitted from these residents paying into QPC....

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  • jas37  |  March 28 2014, 11:25PM

    It seems odd that these Parish Councillors seem so ill-informed. All of the information that I have come across regarding this building made it clear that there would not be any possibility of a "peppercorn rent". If members of the general public such as me were aware of this fact why weren't the Parish Councillors? Did they not make the effort to read any of the relevant documents?

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  • JemmyWood  |  March 28 2014, 10:58AM

    Isitjimkerr, yes I was very aware of QPC and the 'extra' I had to pay on my council tax to allow the QPC toothless tiger to do what it seems to do.... but...... since I moved to Quedegely many years ago the monster that it Kingsway has emerged. QPC seems to have an expansionist agenda going on, wanting to annex Kingsway, Kingsways is a seperate entity and if there is a requirement for extra money to be raised for it, the residents of Kinsgway should pay, just in the same way I pay for such like in Quedgeley. Its not a hard concept to grasp. Where will it end? Innsworth community centers paid for by an extra levvy on top of Quedgeley residents....? As I pointed out in an earlier post, If QPC do have to pay for it, a belt tightening could easily pay for it, £3500 on fireworks last year, £790 on newspaper deliveries, £179 on QPC id tags and lanyards, Travel expenses for the clerk, providing booze at QPC meetings.... the list of waste goes on and on and on. QPC needs to look at its spending habits before forcing an extra levvy on the local residents.

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  March 28 2014, 10:46AM

    JemmyWood.....not sure if I understand the history of QPC, but I'm thinking you knew about it's very existence, and the impact on your life, before you moved in. As Gloucester residents, we all subsidies each other. Like the NHS, I don't want breast augmentation, besides, boobs would look silly on a fifty nine year old bloke!.....but I help pay for those that do. Stop being so myopic, and see the good it can bring. However, one VERY negative point, that is the road system. I had to take a child to the Beacon Centre. Get this!........it's in the middle of a road that is accessed ONLY by buses, ie, No Entry signs either end, there is NO parking whatsoever, even for staff. And we were advised by the brilliant receptionist to park in the tiny Tesco Express car-park, and walk all the way round. Not a prob if you know where it is, and take a buggy. My first time, thought there would be parking for mothers.......................doh, how stupid was I. So yes, I hope it works, and peeps get the hang of the ridiculous road scheme....oh, and there's speed humps EVERYWHERE!

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  • GlosAnarchy  |  March 28 2014, 9:18AM

    I would say they could have it for a peppercorn rent IF they pay for the buildings insurance, ALL repairs and maintenance and upgrades. Sounds fair to me but would they accept the risk?

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  • JemmyWood  |  March 28 2014, 8:14AM

    How long until the toothless tiger that is QPC announce a rise in the 'Quedgeley Supplement' we have to pay on top of the council tax to fund this..... It does beg the question if that does happen, why should I, as a Quedgeley resident, help fund a community center in Kingsway? Using that logic, it would be like me paying to support a community center in Innsworth. Be very careful here QPC, its a Kingsway 'asset' residents of Kingsway should pay... Not me.

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