City of Culture Trust requests council loan

Coventry City Council has been requested to provide a loan of £1m to Coventry City of Culture Trust (CCCT) to help it “address short term cash flow pressures as it enters the legacy phase.”

A report is being considered by the council’s cabinet member for finance, Cllr Richard Brown.

The temporary cashflow support is being sought to enable the Trust to manage its short-term financial position which it says was adversely affected by the Covid pandemic and has become more difficult in recent months with the timing of a number of payments due to the Trust.

The council said that without the loan support there is a potential risk of the legacy activity of the Trust being curtailed ahead of schedule.

“In these circumstances the Trust may not be able to deliver its performance benchmarks or fulfil the activities planned following the end of the UK City of Culture year,” it said.

Cllr Brown said: “Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture was impacted by the COVID pandemic. It makes sense to provide a loan to help the Trust through this period. This will help the Trust complete its programme, meet its performance targets and avoid any financial penalties.

“The Trust and the Council are absolutely committed to achievement of the long-term legacy impacts anticipated from the UK City of Culture year and this temporary cash-flow support is essential to make sure that this happens.

“As a result of our Year as City of Culture there have been many capital building schemes completed including the city centre public realm and over £170m in investment has been secured into the city as a result of the title.”

The Trust’s budget assumes that the sum will be repaid in full, with a commercial interest rate to be levied.