West Lothian Council currently has lease arrangement with Reconnect SCIO who will operate the arts venue until 31 March 2024. Since the agreement was put in place earlier this year, council officers have been working to explore options to ensure the facility remains open from 1 April onwards, and ensure there is a permanent base for Firefly Arts. A report going before Council Executive next week (Tuesday) recommends that a competitive, open market process could commence next month, seeking bids from parties interested in leasing and operating HPC on a commercial basis from 1 April onwards. Several key components of any future lease would include:
- That HPC should be financially self-sufficient and commercially viable going forward
- The period of the lease should run from 1 April 2024 to 17 February 2035
Key components proposed also include:
- General access to the public must be maintained during regular operating hours
- The venue must, for the duration of the lease, be used as a theatre and arts venue
- Firefly Arts would continue to have a permanent home at HPC for the duration of the lease
- The property must not be renamed
It is proposed that officers will advertise this opportunity on the open market and engage with national governing bodies in order to raise awareness in the arts sector at local, regional and national levels.
All future bids and supporting information will be considered by the council and recommendations will be brought back to Council Executive for a decision. If the Council Executive agree to next week's recommendations, the launch of the application period may commence in October 2023.