Financing the Marlborough Town Hall development

Written by Christopher Joseph on .


Now that the leaflets about the proposed development have been delivered to everyone it is possible to do the calculations about finance.

The annual repayments on the million pound loan would be £49.8K/year, if the terms are 4.35% over 50 years.  The revenue of £15K from 5 High Street plus a further projected £10K and the total estimated savings of £13K, give a total of £38K/year, which provides the bulk of the repayment cost.  I have been assured that the remaining £11K/year can be “absorbed” in the annual budget.  It would have been useful if this link between loan and repayment could have been made more explicit in the leaflet.

So that’s all sorted then!  The project can forge ahead with no financial worries.  Well that just assumes that we can trust all the figures and estimates in the leaflet.  But I feel that: “The devil is in the detail”.  I think that the public would welcome much more than could be set out in a brief leaflet.  Details of the building costs and the provision made for over runs, that so often beset complex projects in historic buildings, are vital.  The revenue and savings figures need a much firmer basis too.  Details of the market research and business plans for projected revenue streams should be made public.  One wonders how there can be staff savings of £4K/year when the Town Hall is expected to be open all the week.  And the uncertainties over the Chantry Lane site remain to be explained in full.

 I admire the optimism of Mr Nancarrow, but I just hope that ratepayers won’t be asked to pick up a large bill if the Council’s estimates prove to be wrong.

We are being asked to trust the word of a Council, which a few months ago gave us an “Unbreakable commitment to have a Tourist Information Centre in the Town Hall by April 2012” and then last Monday abandoned this in favour of a website.  

Christopher Joseph