Agenda item

Developing a New Nunthorpe Community Facility


The Mayor stated that despite claims of bias and predetermination, following the Deputy Monitoring Officer’s advice both he and the Deputy Mayor would take part in both the discussions and vote for this item. The Mayor invited the Executive Member for Regeneration to present his report.


The Executive Member for Regeneration and the Executive Member for Finance and Governance submitted report for Executive’s consideration.


The report sought approval of the recommendations to locate a new community centre on land within Nunthorpe ward.


There had been a long-standing requirement for new community space to be developed within the Nunthorpe area. The need for such space had been communicated by residents, community groups and local elected members for some time.


In 2020, Middlesbrough Council, in conjunction with community representatives developed a series of commitments that were intended to ensure that the local community were engaged in the area’s future and would ultimately lead to the development of a Neighbourhood Plan. Again, the need for a new community facility was clearly communicated as a priority for the local community.


As part of that work, a number of proposals came forward to develop new community space, in different parts of Nunthorpe. One proposal identified a site owned by the Council adjacent to the new GP Surgery off Stokesley Road, and the other identified an opportunity to build on the existing Nunthorpe and Marton Playing Fields Association facilities off Guisborough Road.


Also in 2020 a significant allocation of Town’s Fund resources was added to the existing Council funds to ultimately provide a budget of £966,000 to deliver a new community centre at Nunthorpe.


A process to look at specific proposals for each site was undertaken by the Council and other external stakeholders in 2021, but no formal conclusion was reached. 


A report was subsequently approved by Executive in September 2022, which identified the need for community consultation, and a focus on identifying the most appropriate location for the facility. The report stated that the Council would manage the design and build of the new facility, but a process would also need to be undertaken to appoint an organisation to run it. As there was no revenue budget available from the Council to support the running of the centre, the selected organisation would need to demonstrate a viable, sustainable business plan.  


As a result, a consultation on the location options was conducted between December 2022 and January 2023 for a period of 6 weeks.  The consultation asked members of the public to provide positive and negative feedback for both options and asked which location people would prefer.


A total of 369 individuals responded to the consultation, with 60% identifying a preference for the land adjacent to the GP surgery.


At this point in the meeting the Chair invited other elected Members and the public to express their views about the proposal. As part of those discussions, those invited to comment stated the alternative site to that proposed in the report remained a viable option for several reasons.


After considering all comments made the Mayor thanked those elected Members and the public for their input.




There were two alternative options for Executive to consider which were:


a)    to proceed with the second location as outlined within the option appraisal; and,

b)    not to develop a community facility in Nunthorpe. 


It was believed that both of those options would not meet the identified needs for the community and/or would have been a reputational risk to the Council.




The option appraisal had identified the location adjacent to the GP Surgery as the preferred site for a new community facility in Nunthorpe. This also allowed for the location of the community garden to be confirmed. It was therefore recommended Executive approve:


1.    The identification of land adjacent to the new GP Surgery at Nunthorpe as the preferred site for a new community centre;

2.    The commencement of a process to identify an appropriate organisation to operate the new community centre, prior to any major expenditure being incurred;

3.    The release of up to £20,000 from the budget to enable early stage design consideration to inform the identification of an appropriate organisation; and,

4.    the allocation 0.5 acres of land owned by the Council off Stokesley Road for designation as a community garden.




The Council had undertaken an option appraisal process to identify the most appropriate location for a new community facility in Nunthorpe, including a public consultation. The option appraisal identified the location adjacent to the new GP Surgery as the preferred site for the new facility for the following reasons:


a)    The proposed land was owned and controlled by the Council; 

b)    The proposal looked to develop a stand-alone new build solution and consequently would not require a proportion of the budget to be spent on required energy efficiency improvements to an existing building;

c)    The area suggested for the new facility provided some flexibility to adjust plans should any issues have occurred during construction;

d)    No significant environmental issues are present on the site that would require mitigation;

e)    The outcome of the appraisal met that of the preferred location from the community consultation; and,

f)     Provided no immediate Highways and/or Planning concerns.


The conclusion reached about the community centre also allowed the location of the proposed community garden for Nunthorpe to be confirmed.

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