£72m will be the minimum loan required after selling the existing town hall and theatre site. But for some reason the actual cost of the Civic Complex have not yet been made public. Why not? Well maybe we can explain why we are being kept in the dark:
The council can borrow £72m (over 50 years) at 2.79% per year. This will cost £2.6m per annum to service. Compared to the existing Assembly Hall the estimated increase in theatre subsidy is £100,000. The loss of the Great Hall and Mount Pleasant car parks will cost the council around £280,000 per annum. Therefore, the council needs to find at least £2.98m per year to pay for their new offices and a new theatre.
The council says the offices and car park will pay for themselves, so does this mean they will also cover the £2.98m? No, not even close!
The new offices they will not use are expected to earn £540,000 per year (before any maintenance costs and void periods are included). The new car park will bring in around £280,000 per year, but this only replaces the lost profit from the Great Hall and Mount Pleasant car parks. So let’s give them the benefit of the doubt…..that’s £820,000 income from the scheme.
So, the annual bill is at least £2.98m and the council will earn an optimistic £820,000 to pay for it. That leaves a very big, black hole of £2.16m. But sadly the bad news does not stop there. For every extra £1m the council borrows (e.g. to cover the cost of taking Hoopers to court), it will cost an additional £40,000 per annum.