What happens to the community centre if there are no viable proposals?
– The call for proposals is about bringing renewed activity, life and interest to the community centre. In a situation where no viable proposals come forward, the council and Regenter will explore alternative approaches that deliver on this aspiration. Pinnacle will continue to manage the centre throughout the process.
You say you’ll accept commercial proposals, are you planning on changing the community centre into a business?
– We will assess the strength of proposals against a set of outcomes that have been identified for the centre. A key outcome is to create opportunities that positively impact the lives of local people, particularly children and young people. Simply turning the community centre into a business would not deliver on this outcome; successful proposals will need to demonstrate how they strengthen the wider community.
Will local residents be involved in assessing the proposals?
– Formal assessment of proposals will be undertaken by Regenter and LB Lambeth against the outcomes that have been identified for the centre. However, residents’ views will be sought during the process and local councillors will be consulted.
Are Pinnacle/Regenter/LB Lambeth investing anything in the provision or will the organisations be expected to fund everything?
– Bidders have been asked to put forward proposals that achieve full financial sustainability. Regenter has an obligation to undertake all repairs to the building and this arrangement will continue. We would support and encourage collaboration between different interested parties to deliver the best solution and longer-term outcomes for the centre and local residents.
Will you be charging charities market rent and full costs of taxes and bills? Doesn’t this mean many good proposals won’t be financially viable?
– The chosen operator will need to demonstrate that their proposal is financially viable and that they are able to pay for their fair share of running costs, including utilities and taxes. However, we have been explicit that rent levels are to be negotiated and will reflect the social value that proposals generate. There is no assumption that full market rent will be charged.
How will you ensure the offer in the community centre meets the needs of the whole community, not just one group?
– Proposals will be assessed against a set of outcomes which reflect the importance of the wider community, as well as specific groups within it (e.g. children and young people). The call for proposals stipulates that proposals should be accessible to the diverse community living around the centre, as well as Lambeth residents more broadly. Local councillors will be consulted.
What will happen to the café that operates in the community centre?
– The café has recently been granted a lease extension that is unaffected by these proposals. Beyond this period, we are looking to revitalise the centre in line with the original operating model, and as such will be looking afresh at all activities provided within the centre.
We are looking for at least one long term tenant but are also happy to hear proposals for shorter terms, temporary and meanwhile uses. We encourage proposals from individual organisations or partnerships/consortia, and we’re happy to hear proposals for the whole building or part of it.
We will assess proposals on how they meet the needs of the local community and information is available about the demographic and socio-economic profiles in the area and what other services are already available.
Potential bidders will be expected to be self-funding and cover costs of the building including rent, tax and services. Proposals therefore need to be accompanied by a robust business plan.
If you are interested in bidding you can get a detailed specification of the space from Pinnacle, and we’re happy to answer questions or discuss and issues prior to submission of proposals.
What Community Centre costs will bidders be liable for?
– Business rates
– Rent (to be negotiated)
Is any partnership/grant/set up funding available from Pinnacle/Regenter/LB Lambeth?
– Proposals will need to achieve full financial sustainability – no revenue funding is available. While requests for partnership/grant/set up funding will be considered, they will only be agreed in exceptional circumstances. Where bidders are looking for a start-up grant, they should detail what the funding will be used for.
How developed to proposals need to be?
– Proposals should give sufficient detail so that the panel is able to evaluate the information that is being provided against the outcomes criteria that have been set. Proposals should be accompanied by a business plan.
Do proposals need to be for ten years?
– No, we welcome proposals that to animate the space (outside or inside) on a pop-up or meanwhile basis, as well as proposals for a shorter period than ten years.
Do proposals need to use the whole centre?
– No. Proposals can encompass the whole centre, just part of the centre and/or the outside areas. We welcome proposals from individuals or organisations that would like to work together in the form of a consortium, particularly if working in this way enables a comprehensive vision for the centre.
How will proposals be assessed?
– Proposals will be initially assessed via a desktop review of the extent to which they meet the outcomes that have been identified. Shortlisted proposals will then be invited along to a presentation session and interview with the evaluation panel comprising representatives from Regenter and LB Lambeth.
Is there a particular identified need, or particular community/age group that bids need to focus on?
– Local demographic information is attached.
Will you accept wholly commercial bids?
– Yes, where the operator can show they meet the outcomes identified in the call for proposals.
Will you accept bids from organisations that aren’t based in Lambeth?
– Yes. We are open to all potential bidders and proposals. We would particularly welcome proposals from local people and organisations.