Whitby Pannett Art Gallery £130,000 business plan for expansion set to be approved by town council

Whitby Town Council is set to approve a £130,000 business plan which it hopes will realise its plans for a multi-million pound extension of Pannett Art Gallery.

By Anttoni James Numminen, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Monday, 20th June 2022, 4:50 pm

Plans for the £4.8m extension to the gallery, put forth in the 2020 Whitby Town Deal, include proposals to deliver “additional floor space at the Pannett Art Gallery for new displays, galleries and hospitality” and the provision of new facilities for “educational activities and study”.

However, the plan did not proceed as planned when Whitby’s application to the Towns Fund resulted in a £17.5m grant instead of the originally requested sum of £25m.

But the project is likely to take a step closer to completion as Scarborough Council has granted Whitby a sum of £126,809 to prepare a “fully Compliant HM Treasury Full Green Book Business Case, including all activities as outlined in the Project brief and RIBA Stage 2 Designs minimum to the satisfaction of the funder”.

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Whitby's Pannett Art Gallery.

The RIBA designs are likely to set out proposals for structural design, services systems, and landscape.

Following a procurement process to receive bids for the business plan, TetraTech has provided a fixed fee of £129,900 and councillors will vote on whether to go ahead with the plan.

If the plan has the backing of the full council meeting on Tuesday June 21, it will also require the town council to dip into its maintenance reserves to the sum of £3,000 in order to cover the full cost of the business plan.

The full council meeting is also set to discuss and approve the audit of the council’s overall finances for the financial year from April 2021 to March 2022.

As of the end of March, Whitby Town Council’s full finances stood at £72,817 according to the published accounts.

Overall, the biggest single outgoing for the council has been staffing costs which amounted to just over £200,000 while “other services” amounted to gross outgoings of £127,000.

Total payments for the year amounted to £450,000.

The auditors only made two recommendations to the council, which were the implementation of a detailed interim audit “to give further assurance to the town clerk and councillors” as well as suggesting an improved system of scanning invoices to “give a better audit trail of expenditure”.