BUDGET: The Hive PFI to be "renegotiated"

Worcester News: BUDGET: The Hive PFI to be "renegotiated" BUDGET: The Hive PFI to be "renegotiated"

WORCESTER’S iconic Hive is coming under major financial pressure - with cash-strapped council chiefs desperately trying to “renegotiate” a 25-year funding plan.

Your Worcester News can today reveal how taxpayers are forking out £2.3m a year in subsidies towards the library facility, some of which is for an expensive PFI (Private Finance Initiative).

Behind-closed-doors talks are taking place to see if the deal can be made cheaper amid the shock cuts revealed on Wednesday.

A renegotiation could see the PFI made longer to offer some relief to the Conservative leadership, which is battling with County Hall’s worst ever financial backdrop.

Trish Haines, the chief executive, insists there will be “no panic and no crisis” and said the cuts will be made “in a sensible, measured way”.

The PFI deal is just 16 months old, and on the current timeline will come to an end in 2036.

A report obtained by your Worcester News says the council wants to secure “a more economical deal”, and focus on a “commercial approach” towards The Hive.

Other plans for saving cash at The Hive include licensing it for wedding functions and renting out rooms for company events.

That could include marketing it as an “archive destination”, where exhibitions can be held and renowned archivists can use it for lectures and other events.

Of the £2.3m, some goes towards the PFI and some the actual upkeep, although the authority will not reveal the full breakdown.

Councillor Adrian Hardman, the leader, said: “Like many other public authorities, the county council has less money to provide services and do the things that people have said are important to them.”

He said funding for libraries, museums and the arts, all of which are being slashed, form part of the “tough choices” the administration is looking to make.

The Hive was opened in July 2012 by the Queen and is one of Worcestershire’s big success stories, after being created in conjunction with the University of Worcester.

Since then the visitor numbers have smashed through the one million mark, offering combined public and university resources.

Comments (12)

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6:59pm Thu 17 Oct 13

thompson9100 says...

If the Hive is such a big success story, how is it that the finances don't stack up? Another great PFI balls-up!
If the Hive is such a big success story, how is it that the finances don't stack up? Another great PFI balls-up! thompson9100
  • Score: 9

7:32pm Thu 17 Oct 13

CJH says...

I'd use it much more IF I COULD HEAR MYSELF THINK IN THERE!!!!!!
I'd use it much more IF I COULD HEAR MYSELF THINK IN THERE!!!!!! CJH
  • Score: 7

8:49pm Thu 17 Oct 13

Andy_R says...

The Hive is totally unsuitable for both weddings and lectures because it's a library, libraries need to be quiet, and it;s already too noisy in there. It's been obvious since the first plans were revealed up that the Hive's open plan design was a huge mistake, so perhaps the council should look to the architects who made the mistake to return some of the lost revenue?
The Hive is totally unsuitable for both weddings and lectures because it's a library, libraries need to be quiet, and it;s already too noisy in there. It's been obvious since the first plans were revealed up that the Hive's open plan design was a huge mistake, so perhaps the council should look to the architects who made the mistake to return some of the lost revenue? Andy_R
  • Score: 7

10:35pm Thu 17 Oct 13

MissMini says...

The Uni seems to be minted, buying up land etc for major development, they should chip in towards the running cost .
The Uni seems to be minted, buying up land etc for major development, they should chip in towards the running cost . MissMini
  • Score: 4

8:38am Fri 18 Oct 13

redtail65 says...

pfi= gloriyfied housing associations
pfi= gloriyfied housing associations redtail65
  • Score: 0

9:11am Fri 18 Oct 13

Hwicce says...

A few chickens coming home to roost here I feel.

Grandeoise scheme bought using a (PFI) scheme that has substantial long term costs that everyone knew about at the start but chose to ignore.

Will it become like the "Public" in West Brom and have to be sold off because it is ultimately not affordable?
A few chickens coming home to roost here I feel. Grandeoise scheme bought using a (PFI) scheme that has substantial long term costs that everyone knew about at the start but chose to ignore. Will it become like the "Public" in West Brom and have to be sold off because it is ultimately not affordable? Hwicce
  • Score: 7

10:08am Fri 18 Oct 13

brooksider says...

I don't know where the figure £2.3 million comes from.
The real cost of the Hive PFI is over £5 million a year.
This is on top of £7 million a year for the Magistrates Court PFI and £25 million plus for the Royal Hospital PFI.
The Council also want to spend over £30 million a year on the Hartlebury Incinerator PFI.
I don't know where the figure £2.3 million comes from. The real cost of the Hive PFI is over £5 million a year. This is on top of £7 million a year for the Magistrates Court PFI and £25 million plus for the Royal Hospital PFI. The Council also want to spend over £30 million a year on the Hartlebury Incinerator PFI. brooksider
  • Score: 5

2:19pm Fri 18 Oct 13

sugarlump says...

Well I would like to say I told you so, but i won't. I would like to know what the University is paying towards it though - they seem to be very good at spending other peoples money.
Well I would like to say I told you so, but i won't. I would like to know what the University is paying towards it though - they seem to be very good at spending other peoples money. sugarlump
  • Score: 3

3:46pm Fri 18 Oct 13

walkerno5 says...

If we do any more PFI, can we just borrow the money off wonga instead? It might be cheaper.
If we do any more PFI, can we just borrow the money off wonga instead? It might be cheaper. walkerno5
  • Score: 6

8:46pm Fri 18 Oct 13

grumpy woman says...

This is a building that suits nobody - not the people who work there nor those trying to study there. It is open plan and noisy and the smells from the cafe permeate everywhere. Students do not feel safe there at night because of the kids and dodgy characters inside and lurking outside in the shadows and the security guards are toothless. But the various bodies were determined to have it and we now have an expensive pink elephant.
This is a building that suits nobody - not the people who work there nor those trying to study there. It is open plan and noisy and the smells from the cafe permeate everywhere. Students do not feel safe there at night because of the kids and dodgy characters inside and lurking outside in the shadows and the security guards are toothless. But the various bodies were determined to have it and we now have an expensive pink elephant. grumpy woman
  • Score: 4

3:18am Sat 19 Oct 13

presterjohn says...

As soon as you hear that a PFI scheme is at the heart of any new build you know it will all end in tears. The trouble is that the numpties that agree to these schemes never have to use their own money, if they did PFI's would have died off years ago. They are appalling value for money and force you to pay through the nose for shoddy services that soon prove to be inadequate for the job that the fantasists that envisage the schemes end up needing them for. They should be banned.
As soon as you hear that a PFI scheme is at the heart of any new build you know it will all end in tears. The trouble is that the numpties that agree to these schemes never have to use their own money, if they did PFI's would have died off years ago. They are appalling value for money and force you to pay through the nose for shoddy services that soon prove to be inadequate for the job that the fantasists that envisage the schemes end up needing them for. They should be banned. presterjohn
  • Score: 2

10:12pm Sat 19 Oct 13

drowningnotwaving says...

We have an era in which industry leaders like Dyson, Duckworth, Suger et al try to be like Victorian employers (we even have a debate in the news about dole scrounging) trying to limit wages, employment rights etc
Well, Victorian factory owners built many of our public institutions like hospitals, schools, library's Tec.
Time for these big mouths to step up to the plate and fund libraries etc
We have an era in which industry leaders like Dyson, Duckworth, Suger et al try to be like Victorian employers (we even have a debate in the news about dole scrounging) trying to limit wages, employment rights etc Well, Victorian factory owners built many of our public institutions like hospitals, schools, library's Tec. Time for these big mouths to step up to the plate and fund libraries etc drowningnotwaving
  • Score: 0

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