At a special meeting of the Full Council on Monday 9th March, the Council, in its capacity as the sole corporate trustee, agreed the next steps regarding Lytham Institute Trust.

The future of the Institute needed to be reviewed after Lancashire County Council relinquished the User Rights, following the decision to re-open the library service and to relocate it in Lytham Assembly Rooms.  This decision triggered local concern as to the future of the grade 2 listed building.

After considering legal advice on the 1917 Lease Assignment for the institute, the Council registered it as a charitable trust in August 2019 with the process completed in December 2019.  However, the 1917 assignment did not include any governance arrangements and left the Council as the sole Trustee.

After seeking advice and support from the Charity Commission the Council recognised the necessity to update the aims of the Trust and develop a scheme of governance.  At the meeting on March 9th the revised aims for the Trust, drafted on the Charity Commission’s model purpose for community centres, were approved for consultation:

“To further or benefit the residents of Lytham and the neighbourhood, without distinction of sex, sexual orientation, race or of political, religious or other opinions by providing facilities in the interests of social welfare for learning, recreation and leisure time occupation, including cultural and art exhibitions, with the objective of improving the conditions of life for the residents.

In furtherance of these objects but not otherwise, the trustees shall have power to maintain or manage or co-operate with any statutory authority in the maintenance and management of the Lytham Institute building or other appropriate premises for activities promoted by the charity in furtherance of the above objects.”

To ensure proper and appropriate consultation with all stakeholders, the Trust is following Charity Commission advice to obtain the views of anyone who has an interest in the revised purposes.  The Council will carry out the consultation on behalf of the Trust and will include several different consultation methods to ensure everyone has an opportunity to air their views.

The consultation can be found on the Council’s website here with a deadline of 20th April 2020 for any feedback.

Fylde Council Leader Sue Fazackerley said: “It was clear from the Charity Commission’s advice that Lytham Institute Trust needed to update its aims, which were designated 103 years ago and the implications of the relocation of the public library by the County Council.  The proposed revised aims have been approved for consultation with the feedback being used to inform any changes to the final proposal which must be approved by the Charity Commission.  I would encourage all interested parties to have their say”.