Agenda item

Kendal Futures Funding Agreement

To consider a revision of the Cabinet decision (CEX/104 2020/21) relating to the funding package for Kendal Futures.

Minutes:

Note – Councillor Robin Ashcroft left the room at this point in the meeting as he declared an Other Registerable Interest at CEX/4. He did not take part in the discussion or voting on the item.

 

Summary

 

The Deputy Leader and Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder introduced the Kendal Futures Funding Agreement report. He explained that through a revision of the Cabinet decision of the 8 December 2020 (CEX/104), relating to the funding package for Kendal Futures, they will be able to contract a vision manager to progress the implementation of Kendal Vision and elements of the Town Centre Strategy.

 

The development of projects which delivered the Vision and Strategy would be taken forward through the town team in preparation of a Levelling Up fund application, together with a further range of complementary projects to be identified and developed by Kendal Futures.

 

During discussion on the item, the Operational Lead (Specialist Services) undertook to provide information relating to Kendal Futures including how much money had been spent on the plan for Kendal, what has been achieved and how Kendal Futures planned to address the issues faced by Kendal high street.

 

Decision

 

RESOLVED – That:-

 

(1)  the amendment to the approach to supporting and partnering with Kendal Futures CIC on the delivery of Kendal Vision be approved;

 

(2)  delegated authority to the Director of Customer and Commercial Services, in consultation with the Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist and Finance Lead Specialist be approved to put in place the necessary legal agreements to enable the funding of the Kendal Vision Manager and conditional upon the delegated approvals relating to the funding of projects development to enter into legal agreements accordingly and manage any risks face by the Council; and

 

(3)  delegated authority to the Director of Customer and Commercial Services  in consultation with the Leader of the Council (or Deputy Leader) to approve and amend a schedule of projects for which the development funding may be used.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

This proposal links positively to all priorities in the Council Plan. It will help deliver towards South Lakeland’s vision to be the best place to live, work and explore, and is seen as central to the Council’s efforts in aiding economic and town centre recovery.

 

It will directly deliver towards SLDC’s Kendal Town Centre Strategy and also feed constructively into the Local Plan Review. It will improve the health of our high streets and help retain younger people in the area, both of which have been identified as key priorities through SLDC’s Economic Renewal Group, set up in response to Covid-19.

 

A vibrant, prosperous Kendal is important not only for South Lakeland but within the context of the wider Morecambe Bay area. This proposal is important in how it can help deliver towards many of the objectives in the Morecambe Bay Prosperity & Resilience Strategy.

 

Delivery of the Kendal Vision will help ensure the vibrancy and attractiveness of Kendal as a place to live, work and visit. It will provide new and enhanced employment space, more affordable and energy efficient town centre housing, as well as more social spaces and places for people’s wellbeing and enjoyment. It will  bring development and investment and help improve job and housing opportunities, in turn helping to tackle inequality and poverty faced in the area.

This proposal will also help deliver a more sustainable approach to our town centres. South Lakeland was the first Council in Cumbria to declare a climate emergency and a key focus of both the Town Centre Strategy and Vision is to reduce carbon emissions and make our town centres more habitable, minimising car journey times, stimulating sustainable development of homes and workspaces, creating more open spaces and incorporating greater greenery into our public places.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

Not to provide Council investment into the delivery of Kendal Vision. This would mean the project would be unlikely to progress as there is no alternative funding identified to take it forward. The private sector, while strongly supportive, is not in a position at this time to fund it due to the financial impact of Covid-19 on their businesses. Without SLDC’s financial commitment this work would not progress which would mean the Council also failing to deliver on the aspirations set out in its Kendal Town Centre Strategy.

 

To provide a reduced level of investment in terms of value and/or duration. Any reduced contribution is felt to be insufficient and not suitably ambitious to drive forward the level of change needed. The recommended approach will provide momentum and longevity, increasing the likelihood of generating additional investment and becoming sustainable in the longer-term.

 

Not to work collaboratively and focus only on SLDC’s Kendal Town Centre Strategy, disregarding the Kendal Vision. This would jeopardise delivery and reduce its chances of success, missing the opportunity to embrace the additional, expertise and weight of support that the Kendal Vision can offer.

 

Note – Following the conclusion of this item Councillor Ashcroft re-joined the meeting.

Supporting documents: