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Colliton club to stand alone in cost-cutting bid
THE COLLITON Club will go it alone in a council bid to save thousands.
Dorset County Council is currently responsible for the club at Colliton House.
But from April 1, 2014 the Dorchester institution will become independent in a ‘low risk’ proposal that is set to save £20,000.
Earlier this year the council identified £21,000 of savings that could be made by changing its relationship with the club, with a further ‘aspirational’ target of £19,000.
Since then, the club has secured some private financial backing, sparing £10,000.
It is predicted that the new plan, which was agreed at last week’s cabinet meeting, will shave a further £20,000 off DCC’s outgoings.
This means that the county council is well on its way to reaching the ‘aspirational’ target.
Backdating the contract to April 2011 means that the club will also pay the council a one-off sum of £36,000.
Speaking at the meeting, Coun Robert Gould said: “There are a number of sensible proposals made in the report. I think we are all keen to support and endorse them.”
He added: “This seems a very sensible way forward and I am happy to endorse it.”
The club will lease the ground floor and cellar of Grade II listed Colliton House from the council for 10 years.
It will pay its own business rates and three officers currently employed by DCC will transfer over to being the responsibility of the club. A contract will be drawn up so that the club will provide services to the council.
The agreed proposal sets out the long-term goals that the club, which has existed for 60 years, is fully independent and run on commercial terms.
It also says ‘best use of the building’ will be agreed in the future.
A council spokesman said: “The changes will enable the club to take direct control over how it is managed.
“From a customer’s perspective, there should be very little that changes in the short-term although it will be up to the board of directors to agree the club’s long-term business strategy.”
Simon Bailey, Dorset County Council customer service manager, said: “While the Colliton Club is undoubtedly operating in a very difficult economic climate, we feel the new arrangement will help it to develop and flourish as an independent business.
“Many regular customers from County Hall will continue to enjoy its facilities, and we hope many other people living or working in Dorchester – or just visiting – will also give it a try.”
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