The Sports Development and Service Manager presented the above report, previously circulated to Members. The purpose of the report was to update Members on recent developments with regards to Institute Football Club and to seek Members’ approval for Council to act as a sponsor for Institute FC to enable the group to progress the Community Asset Transfer (CAT) process with Department for Communities (DfC).
Councillor Donnelly endorsed the recommendation within the report. He stated that he had worked closely with Institute FC during their relocation to the Brandywell and was very impressed by their attitude and how closely they had worked with the host community and other stakeholders. He stated that he had recently attended a meeting for their 5 year strategic plan in the Guildhall and where they had outlined a very influential plan and he believed that the allocation of land to the club would be instrumental in bringing those plans to fruition. He stated that the club had worked closely with other sporting organisations in the area including Brigade Cricket Club and Lincoln Courts Football Club and there was a very good working relationship.
Alderman Devenney stated also endorsed the recommendation within the report which he described as timely as the club had recently held the launch of their five year strategic plan.
Councillor Reilly stated that he had also attended the event to hear directly from the club about their future plans. He referred to existing users Clooney Pitch and enquired if there were any plans to assist them.
In response, the Sports Development and Service Manager stated that consultation had taken place with existing users and that they would be able to access alternative facilities. He stated that if any displacement issues arose, these would be dealt with within the pitch allocation process.
In response to a query by Councillor McHugh regarding sponsorship, the Director of Health and Community stated that the disposal of a surplus asset by any government department had criteria set out as to how it must be effected. Therefore, if a decision was made to use community arts transfers and Council take a lease of that land or whatever other legal agreement was appropriate. Council would subsequently be entitled to sub-let or permit that asset to be used by another party. She advised that sponsorship was not of a financial nature and that there would be no maintenance or development costs. The stated that an alternative method would be if DfC would put the land on the market to allow other public sectors to benefit from their asset rather than leasing it to the public market. However, a business case had to be approved by DfC to facilitate that process.
Recommended That Members (i) note the recent developments with regard to Institute FC and (ii) that Members agree for Council to act as a sponsor for Institute FC to enable the club to progress the Community Asset Transfer process with DfC provided that Council will have no responsibility for or liability, (legal and equitable) in respect of the pitch any other facilities and provided that Council will have no responsibility for ensuring that the Club complies with any of the terms of any CAT.
Aldermen Devenney and Warke left the meeting at this point.