Decision details

Towns Fund and Future High Streets Fund

Decision Maker: Director of Finance, Director of Regeneration and Culture

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The approved FHSF programme and bid set out provision for cultural investment which supported integration of culture within the high street setting, expansion and animation of cultural assets, supporting the cultural sector capacity and investing in events infrastructure.
This decision seeks to provide a match funding grant of £37,000 to the arts organisation ‘Auxiliary’. The Auxiliary have secured £150,000 from Key Fund and £100,000 from Arts Council England, in order to purchase 51 Station Street and expand the offering at the building.


The Auxiliary are an artist led space that support over 25 artists through studio space, exhibition space and lead on Middlesbrough Art Weekender as well as Sonic Arts Week. They engage with over 10,000 residents every year and have successfully raised significant Arts Council England funding through their cultural recovery strand and project grants strand. They will be applying to and have been encouraged by Arts Council England to apply as a National Portfolio Organisation.
The organisation are uniquely placed to secure National Portfolio status, providing a huge boost to the cultural infrastructure of central Middlesbrough and a platform from which to expand and support the cultural sector. To secure this third party match funding, the FHSF programme has been aligned to enable investment of £37,000 to secure the freehold purchase of the property and support the cultural sector.

Reason for decision:

The funding has been secured for the majority of the purchase of the building, the landlord my sell the building to another bidder if the council do not provide the match funding.

This secures the organisations’ place in Middlesbrough as a key player of the cultural sector.

The funding objectives and outcomes are consistent with the approved business case and bid for FHSF funding allocation and programme objectives.

Alternative options considered:

There are no other arts organisations who have received capital external funding that have a gap in securing other funds. As such, by not providing the funding then the organisation will fail to acquire the property. This would severely reduce the chances of getting and additional National Portfolio organisation in Middlesbrough and this could result in the organisation relocating out of the town / area.

Publication date: 18/01/2022

Date of decision: 18/01/2022

Accompanying Documents: