I subsequently made enquiries to the Leader of Birmingham City Councillor Ian Ward and below is his full response on the current situation. In a nutshell it is currently up for sale to a Community Organisation and all you need to know is there.
It is concerning that the public ownership of the Drum will cease, however, there is an opportunity for a Community Group to maintain this all important local provision.
1. As you may be aware, in accordance with the provisions of the Community Right to Bid, the property
has been registered formally as an Asset of Community Value, the register has been updated to confirm the Council’s intention to dispose of its freehold interest in the property, and the moratorium period has been triggered, whereby the Council cannot sell the property until 29 May 2018, unless to a qualifying community interest group.
To ensure appropriate community engagement, and in order to provide transparency to this process, it is proposed that during the moratorium period the Council will formally advertise the property as being for sale in accordance with the provisions of the Community Right to Bid i.e. only inviting market value offers from community interest groups (see below definition). The basic structure of this proposal will be as follows:
Marketing: Property will be openly advertised in local press, relevant community papers, via Council’s web site and through a sale board on site. Marketing commenced on 14 February 2018. All parties having made an expression of interest will be formally notified beforehand.
Tenure: The Council will offer its unencumbered freehold interest for sale.
User: The property will be offered for sale with the benefit of its existing planning consent i.e. an events venue, and no further limitation or restriction on use.
Offers Invited: The Council will invite best and final unconditional offers from qualifying community interest groups only.
For reference, community interest groups with a local connection must have one of the following structures:
a) A charity
b) A community interest company
c) A company limited by guarantee that is non-profit distributing
d) An industrial or provident society that is non-profit distributing (aka community benefit societies).
Closing date for Offers : 29 May 2018 (close of moratorium).
Required Supporting Evidence: To support their offer community interest groups will be required to provide:
a) financial bid,
b) proof of funding,
c) proof of qualifying status.
Tender Evaluation period: 30 May 2018 – 14 June 2018.
Reporting of offers/Acceptance of offer: Offers received to be reported and acceptance confirmed by a target date of 22 July 2018 (assuming a satisfactory recommendable market value offer has been received). Offers to be reported to the Leader as a property transaction.
Target Date For Exchange of Contracts/Sale Completion: The Council will require an exchange of sale contracts within four weeks of an offer being accepted with sale completion a further four weeks thereafter.
It is considered that this process will give clear guidance to community groups of the Council’s expectations and treatment of any offers received.
In the event that a sale is not achieved through this process, then the Council will proceed and offer the property for sale at public auction during the autumn 2018.
Formal marketing will commence with effect from 16 February 2018, with full sale particulars being available from this date via the Council’s web site www.birminghampropertyservices.co.uk, and advertisements appearing in local and community press.
I trust the above is informative in terms of setting out the Council’s intentions and timetable for the sale. Should you require clarification on any aspect then please do not hesitate to contact Rob King (tel no 0121 303 3928 / email Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org), who is managing the sale process.
Watch this space. This information is for "everyone and not the chosen few."
17th March 2018