Hull council staff to leave KC Stadium in bid to save £85,000
STAFF from Hull City Council are being moved out of the KC Stadium to save £85,000 in rent.
A public library based in the stadium is being closed and council sports development staff, currently based at the stadium, are being transferred to recently revamped facilities at Isaac Newton Sports Centre in Greatfield, east Hull.
The council, under increasing pressure to save another £12m from its budget on top of £5.6m already announced, expects to save about £85,000 in annual rent.
The move will end controversy caused by the council paying rent at the KC even though it owns the stadium.
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Under an original lease agreement struck with the Stadium Management Company (SMC), the council has paid just under £1m in rent since the complex opened in late 2002.
Councillor Terry Geraghty, portfolio holder for leisure, said: "Because of a break clause in the lease, we have taken the opportunity to review our facilities at the stadium.
"In view of the financial situation facing the council, it makes more sense to do this now."
He said public use of the library was "almost zero" and blamed its isolated location.
He said: "The readership figures I have seen for the library are not very good at all. We have spent a lot of money improving and extending the Western Library in the Boulevard, which is quite close, so I don't believe people will suffer from closing the library at the stadium.
"I've never supported the way the original lease was done.
"It should have been a lot more secure for the city council than it was but you can't change the past."
The library was one of a number of community facilities based at the stadium, sharing space with Hull College in what was billed as the Learning Zone.
The move will coincide with the closure of another council-run library at the Marfleet Primary Care Centre in Preston Road, east Hull.
Public library services for the area will be transferred to Andrew Marvell School.
Cllr Geraghty said there would be no job losses in the library service with staff working at the KC and Marfleet being redeployed.
As the stadium nears its tenth anniversary, he said the council remained committed its ownership of the building.
He said: "We have no plans to sell the stadium to anyone."
Last year, Hull City owner Assem Allam, who also owns the SMC, opened talks with the council over a possible change in ownership of the stadium.
However, negotiations stalled early on and Mr Allam has subsequently announced he is no longer seeking ownership of the stadium and surrounding land.
• Hull College would like to point out its Sport, Public Services, Travel and Tourism School based a KC Stadium is unaffected by the move.