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Pendle Council’s Executive approves move to acquire part of ACE Centre

Published: Monday, 5th September 2016

Pendle Council’s Executive has agreed that the Council should buy parts of Nelson’s ACE Centre for which it currently holds long-term leases.

This move will save thousands of pounds every year, helping the Council in its efforts to make the significant savings required up to 2020.

The Arts, Culture and Enterprise (ACE) Centre is owned by PEARL, the Council’s pioneering joint venture partnership with local contractor, developer and investor, Barnfield Construction.

Councillor Tony Greaves who oversees the Council’s finances, said: “Whilst the Council has an interest in PEARL, it is a company and a separate organisation.

“The Council itself has two 25 year leases; one for the ground floor and first floor and one for the Bistro.

“Borrowing the money and paying it back at the current very low interest rates, instead of the rent commitment under the two leases, means we can save more than £145,000 in the first year and almost £100,000 each year afterwards.

“It’s just like paying back a mortgage instead of paying rent – but at half the cost each year!

“This would be a significant step towards the £4.8 million we need to save over the next three years."

Other than taking ownership of the Council’s interest in the ACE Centre, there will be no changes to how it’s operated by Pendle Leisure Trust.

Similarly, the Council’s acquisition of its interest in the ACE Centre will not affect any other part of the Centre which will remain in the ownership of PEARL.

Councillors agreed to this move at the Executive on 25th August.