WDC Europa Way Update

On Weds 1st Nov’17 Warwick District Council’s Executive Committee passed recommendations based on an update report on the progress to acquire and develop and at Europa Way for the community stadium and enabling development following the report approved on 12th April’17.

One notable point to come out of the report is that WDC are aiming for the purchase of the land for the community stadium from Warwickshire County Council to be completed by mid-February 2018.

The Trust’s 2017 Annual General Meeting will be on Thursday 30th November, 7pm for 7:30pm start in the Grey Hospitality Suite at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium. All are welcome, members and non-members alike. The bar in the main club house will be open, if anyone wishes to take refreshments through to the Hospitality Suite.

So why not come along and take this opportunity to comment on and discuss these latest developments.

The recommendations approved were:

That Executive: –
2.1 Notes the progress against the recommendations already approved by Council and Executive at their meetings on 12th April 2017 (Council minute number 94 and Executive minute number 129) regarding the progression of the Strategic Opportunity Proposal at Europa Way.

2.2 Resolves that the £190,000 allocated in Executive Minute 129 (12th April 2017) be made available immediately to progress various elements of the project as set out in the report.

2.3 Notes the revisions to the Project Plan contained in paragraph 3.20 of this report and further notes that a report will now be brought back to Council by the end of March 2018 on the results of the market testing and proposing how
the next stage of the project will be delivered.

2.4 Resolves that the Council enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on terms acceptable to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Section 151 officer, the Leader of the Council and the Portfolio Holder for Housing Services
and Finance.

These are expanded in the document for the meeting’s agenda item no. 11, here are some relevant extracts:

3. Reasons for the Recommendation

3.1 In April 2017, Council agreed to progress a major project to acquire and

develop land at Europa Way for a community stadium. The report proposed

that: –

a) the Council purchases land from Warwickshire County Council (WCC) to develop a new community stadium and associated commercial enabling development

b) Leamington Football Club (LFC) will relocate to the new community stadium and the Council will purchase LFC’s current site for use as a Gypsy and Traveller site

c) the Council undertakes a development options appraisal to confirm the feasibility of the community stadium development and produces a project delivery plan.

3.2 Also as reported in April, the land at Europa Way to be acquired by the Council is part of a larger area currently owned by WCC. The remainder of this land (to the east of the proposed spine road) is proposed to be purchased by Waterloo
Housing Group (WHG).

C) LFC Matters

3.12 Regarding the conditional contract to purchase the Harbury Lane land, since the April meeting the Council has received legal advice to the effect that, whilst a conditional contract is an important step towards delivering the stadium and the Council acquiring the Harbury Lane site, given that there are a number of matters still to be resolved, it would be preferable at this stage to agree a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with LFC. This would not be legally
binding on either party but would establish the agreed principles on which both parties will operate and would require both parties, at the appropriate point, to seek to agree a conditional contract. This MOU would follow in more detail the
same partnership principles agreed by Members in April (see confidential Appendix 5 to that report). Good progress has been made on such an MoU with only one issue remaining to resolve. It is therefore proposed that delegated authority is given to the Chief Executive, Monitoring Officer and Section 151 Officer, in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Portfolio Holders for Housing Services and Finance to agree this MOU.

3.20 In accordance with this advice, officers are now proposing a modified timetable to that summarised in para 3.14 above. This would see stage 2 carried out as follows: –

Phase 2 A (estimate 4 months)
Undertake market testing exercise AND explore development options with WDC’s LLP partner Report outcome of this to Executive and seek approval for

Phase 2B (estimate 8 months)
• Undertake procurement exercise in accordance with intelligence from the market testing
• Undertake those parts of a Delivery Options Appraisal (as previously identified) as are required to enable the Council
to make an informed decision. This will also be informed by the market testing and the procurement route chosen
and may to include production of a high-level site master plan, capital budget and cash flow. (RIBA Stage 1)

3.21 Members are asked to note that whilst the figure of £190,000 as previously agreed will more than cover the costs of phase 2A, further resources may be required to complete phase 2B and the procurement of a partner. further progress report will be brought back to Executive in March 2018.

E) Other matters

3.22 Education links. Officers have been in discussions with Warwickshire College about opportunities for the College to be involved in the conferencing offer and possible teaching facilities at the new stadium. These discussions are ongoing
with staff from the College.

3.23 Myton Schools links. Officers continue to keep Myton School up to date with progress and remain open to the possibility of Myton School being more involved in the project.

3.24 Health links. There is interest from the South Warwickshire Foundation Trust and CCG to invest in healthcare in this area and this is being discussed separately with the Council.

3.25 Athletics Track. Officers are discussing with WCC officer’s options which may enable an athletics track to be relocated on adjoining land to the proposed stadium which is scheduled for education use.

Impacts of the proposal:
Services: Opportunities to improve the delivery of sports and recreation facilities in conjunction with the development of the new community stadium.

Money: The impact will depend on the next stages of the project plan. It may be that it can be demonstrated that enabling development can fund the new stadium leaving the Council only covering the cost of land purchase. The scheme if successful will create a significant asset.

Download the full agenda document here.

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