Agreement of Capital Grant Included within the Capital Programme (3G Pitch)
Decision Maker: Policy and Resources Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Award a grant to Tranmere Rovers Football Club
for the construction of a 3G pitch at Solar Campus in
Prior to consideration of this item, Councillor Anita Leech, left the virtual meeting room, having declared a personal interest (see minute 77 ante).
Shaer Halewood, Director of Resources, introduced a report regarding a contribution to the construction of a 3G pitch at the Tranmere Rovers Training Facility at Solar Campus, Leasowe.
In September 2019 the Council had entered into a Partnering Agreement with the Club that highlighted the Council’s good historic relationships and ambition to work together for the benefit of the residents of the Borough. The Club was a key anchor institution within Wirral and provided many functions that supported the Council’s 2025 plan. In 2018, with the knowledge of a deficit of 3G football pitches across Wirral, the Club and the Council had talked about working together to align an initiative to jointly fund the construction of a 3G football pitch at the Solar Campus site costing £799,779.
The 2019/20 capital programme approved by Council on 4 March, 2019 included a scheme and budget for the contribution to Tranmere Rovers Football Club for just under 50% of the construction of such a pitch at a maximum total of £375,000. This scheme was the continuation of Tranmere Rovers’ plan to relocate its training facilities from Ingleborough Road to the Solar Campus.
Planning consent was given for the construction of the pitch at the Planning Committee on 8 September, 2020, subject to nine conditions that were currently being implemented via a working group of residents, officers and Members.
The grant would be funded from the Council’s existing capital programme, with the relevant conditions laid out in the grant agreement. As the revenue impact of the Capital Programme had already been included in the 2019/20 budget approved in March 2019, and carried forward, there were no additional financial implications for the Council taxpayer as a result of awarding the grant.
Shaer Halewood responded to a number of comments from Members and informed the meeting that any future replacement costs would need to be discussed at a future date between the Council and the Club.
Members placed on record their thanks to Tranmere Rovers as a club for all their work they had done in the community through the pandemic.
Councillor Cleary referred to a specific condition (No.9) made by the Planning Committee in its approval of the development, which was not referred to in the report, and the need to ensure this along with the other conditions was implemented, this condition stated that:
‘Prior to first use of the proposed development hereby approved, full details of secure covered and lockable cycle parking and / or storage facilities shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. These facilities shall be provided in accordance with the approved details and made available for use prior to the first use of the development hereby permitted and shall be retained for use at all times thereafter.’
On a motion by the Chair, seconded by Councillor Chris Spriggs, it was -
Resolved – That,
(1) the request from Tranmere Rovers Football Club Limited for a maximum contribution of £375,000 toward the costs of construction of a 3G pitch at the Solar Campus in line with the relevant Community User conditions set out in the Appendix to the Director’s report, be approved;
(2) it be agreed that the Director of Law and Governance be authorised to draw up and finalise a legal agreement between the Council and Tranmere Rovers Football Club Limited to reflect the above arrangements.
Report author: Shaer Halewood
Publication date: 06/04/2021
Date of decision: 17/03/2021
Decided at meeting: 17/03/2021 - Policy and Resources Committee