Penarth Town Council is ceasing operation of The Kymin house & grounds and opening West House Annexe as a space for community hire.

On Thursday 20th December, Members resolved to issue notice on the Council’s license to operate The Kymin from the Vale of Glamorgan Council and resolved to utilise West House Annexe for community use.

Since 1982, the Council has operated The Kymin under a license from the local authority, as a venue available for hire, with gardens open to the public.

Penarth Town Council has sought a more secure tenure of the site, through Community Asset Transfer or medium-long term lease. This would have allowed the financial investment required in the venue and these approaches have been declined by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s strategic asset review of buildings and land in their ownership will now not include the Kymin until 2020 and under the terms of the longstanding license agreement, 12 months’ notice must be provided by the Town Council. With no security of tenure, Penarth Town Council cannot warrant precepting for the significant expenditure required on site. This follows cross-party discussion.

Seeking to offer community hire space, the Town Council will now operate West House Annexe as a venue available to the public, utilising the assets under the Town Council’s ownership. All bookings at the Kymin to 31st March 2019 will be unaffected. Bookings beyond 1st April 2019 will not be possible. Existing hirers of The Kymin will be issued with periods of notice and alternative arrangements will be offered to community groups where possible. Other venues such as The Paget Rooms, Cemetery and West House remain unaffected.

The Leader of Penarth Town Council, Councillor Rhiannon Birch said, “The Town Council is proud to have operated The Kymin for the people of Penarth and its visitors for four decades. Clearly, with no security of tenure, we cannot commit the expenditure required on site and this Council has no choice but to issue notice.

“We are proud of the events and hires hosted by the building and the valuable green space it provides in Penarth. Indeed, recent highlights include the awarding to Penarth Town Council of Green Flag status for the public grounds.

“We are glad to be able to offer community hire space at West House Annexe as another step in the development of West House, following the improvements to the public community garden under the Penarth in Bloom project.”