A new business plan highlighting both the lessons learned and successes during the first year of Wrexham’s new arts and cultural space is being implemented.
The plan, which entirely replaces the one created by Fourth Street consultants four years ago, aims to carry T? Pawb through until 2024.
It proposes a number of changes including increased parking charges, a move towards a reduced but “continued high quality offer” due to staffing and a focus on opening hours to target the early evening after work economy.
The facility in the former People’s Market was set to be handed over to a local trust or similar external operator ahead of its opening in April 2018 as the consultants warned that it would be hindered by red tape if under council management.
However back in 2017 the council’s executive board voted in favour of keeping T? Pawb under council control for at least three years – with issues surrounding state aid and procurement legislation cited at the time as potential barriers to having the facility operated by a local trust.
Speaking at the time, Cllr Hugh Jones, deputy leader of Wrexham Council, said: “The situation is, the business plan remains exactly the same, it is just that the management structure and the delivery will be in-house rather than in the hands of a trust.” With the new ‘Advisory Board’ having a ‘priority’ task to explore alternative governance models, that could be set to change in the future.
Despite the reassurances that the Fourth Street business plan would be adhered to under the council’s control, just 18 months later a new business plan has been created. It is possible that the full rewrite would not have taken place if the council’s Scrutiny committee process had not queried if a ‘wobble’ was taking place just months after opening.
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