The current contract between Wellingborough Council and The Castle will be extended to the end of March to allow time for negotiations regarding the future operation of the arts centre.
In recent months the council and the company have been working together to explore how the arts centre can develop and enhance the services it offers to local people. Earlier this month a new business plan was agreed in principle by both the board of the company and the council. In addition to this, it was necessary for both parties to sign a lease and contract before the current contractual arrangements ended today. As it has become apparent that more time was needed to complete these negotiations, the two month extension has been agreed.
Terry Wright, corporate director at Wellingborough Council said: "The Castle Arts Centre is a hugely valued facility and it provides an excellent, interesting and varied programme of events for local people. The two month extension will give us time to agree the fine print of the lease and contract. In the meantime the chairman of the board has committed to begin the implementation of the new business plan. This will begin delivery of a programme of renewal and enhancement that builds upon an already strong artistic and cultural offer."
Tom Partridge-Underwood, Chairman of The Castle board said: "I welcome this opportunity to continue discussions with the council and look forward to a positive outcome to these negotiations. I want to pay tribute to the professionalism, commitment and enthusiasm of The Castle staff and volunteers that has carried The Castle through the past few months."
The decision to extend the contract has been taken under the council's urgent action powers, and will be reported to the resources committee meeting on 9 February.