A Cambridge City Council website

Cambridge City Council

Council and democracy

Home > Council and Democracy > Issue

Issue - meetings

Revisions to Governance Arrangements and an Extension to the Contract For Services for Storeys Field Centre

Meeting: 18/01/2024 - Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee (Item 9)

9 Revisions to Governance Arrangements and an Extension to the Contract For Services for Storeys Field Centre pdf icon PDF 320 KB

Additional documents:


Matter for Decision

Following a S106 agreement made on 11th Sep 2013, the University of Cambridge and Council established a trust to run Storey’s Field Community Centre.


The centre opened to the public in February 2018, and the operating model was originally intended to be direct management by Storey’s Field Community Trust. Since June 2016 the Council has operated the centre under a contract for services with the Trust. It was always the Council’s intention this would be a medium-term arrangement, to support Trustees in the process of recruiting suitable staff, and establishing the centre programme.


At the request of Storey’s Field Community Trust, the council’s contract for services has been extended several times since 2016, to enable the Trust to undertake a review of the centre’s future direction, and to complete an open procurement process to appoint a new operator. The tender process was completed in July 2022, but was not successful.


With the centre team and programme now successfully established, Cambridge University and the Council consider that there is potential for efficiencies in operations and decision making, and the future strategic success of the centre, by revising the current governance model.


Options appraisal work has been completed by Cambridge University and the Council as part of developing a jointly agreed proposal for future governance, and this identified a preferred position for both organisations. This involved dissolving the Trust and removing the Council from the governance of the centre. Cambridge University, as the building owner, would then assume full responsibility for future investment and the strategy for overseeing management and operation of the centre within the Estates Division, and under the purview of the Property Board. This may be direct management or contracting this service out.


The Councils current contract for services would end 31st March 2024, and a further extension was required until 31st March 2025, to give sufficient time to complete the legal steps required to dissolve the Trust and to ensure a smooth transition to the new governance arrangements. Specifically, a new Community Use Agreement will be needed to replace the existing Trust documentation and set out the long-term commitment of Cambridge University to the delivery of community development activity at Storey’s Field Centre.


Decision of Executive Councillor for Communities

      i.          Agreed to extend the councils contract for management services with Storey’s Field Community Trust, until 31 March 2025, if required.

     ii.          Agreed to simplify existing governance arrangements by dissolving and winding-up Storeys Field Community Trust, working jointly to do so with Cambridge University. Cambridge University may need to retain the trust for tax purposes in which case they will assume complete responsibilities for any governance structure.

   iii.          Agreed to Cambridge University assuming responsibility for management, oversight and meeting any operational deficit for Storey’s Field Centre, following dissolution of Storey’s Field Community Trust.

   iv.          Delegated responsibility to the Director of Communities, in consultation with the Chair and Spokes of Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee, to approve an updated Community Use Agreement that reflects the revised governance arrangements.

    v.          Delegated responsibility to the Director of Communities to ensure a smooth transition and handover of management of the centre to Cambridge University.


Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.


Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.


Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Strategic Project Manager.


The Strategic Project Manager said the following in response to Members’ questions:

      i.          Revised terms of reference were expected from the University setting out details of community use requirements for the centre in perpetuity eg the amount of time the centre was available for community use hire.

     ii.          The City Council would monitor s106 community use terms. This would be an ongoing role.


The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.


The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.


Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.