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At a special meeting of the Full Council on Monday 9th March 2020, 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 but relocate it in Lytham Assembly Rooms. The uncertain future triggered local concern that the grade 2 listed building would no longer be a community asset.

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 identified the need to revise the purpose of the Trust and develop a scheme of governance. At the meeting on March 9th the revised purposes 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 purpose. The Council will carry out the consultation on behalf of the Trust and will include several different consultation methods to ensure everyone has their say.

The consultation can be found on the council’s website here with a deadline of 30th June 2021 for any feedback.

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Leader of the Council, Cllr Karen Buckley, said:

“Lytham Institute’s future is still to be determined and the decisions will be informed by local people.  This consultation is about the purposes of the charity rather than the use of the building and needs to be settled before we can move forward.

“Anyone who submitted a response before the consultation was suspended last year can be assured that these have been retained, however, if an organisation or individual wishes to make further comment there is no restriction on how many submissions can be made.”

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