Castle Park Trust
Castle Park Trustee representatives
Cllr Andrew Dawson, Chair
Cllr Lynn Riley
Cllr Paul Bowers
Cllr Hugo Deynem
Objectives of the Trust
The overarching objectives of the Trust are to:
- Maximising utilisation of the house
- Securing long term strategic tenants for the ground floor
- Development of alternative income sources
- Contribution to the wider economy
- Enhancing contribution to health and wellbeing
- Achieving self-sustainability and financial autonomy for the park
Castle Park Trust is a registered charity administered under a scheme approved by the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales. This requires the Trust to:
- Use the buildings for council offices, the advancement of education, a museum, art gallery, or public library (or leased out if not required for these purposes).
- Use the grounds for an historic park for public use.
- Only to erect new buildings if they are necessary or desirable to further the objects of the charity, and do not affect the historic character of the park.
The objects of the Charity
The objects of the Trust allow for the use of Castle Park house and outbuilding for:
- Council offices for the purposes of the council as Local Authority and the inhabitants of the area of benefit (the administrative area of Cheshire West and Chester Council);
- The advancement of the education of the inhabitants of the area of benefit;
- A museum, art gallery or public library.
The remaining land and buildings are to be used as a public park for the benefit of the inhabitants of the area. Whilst daily admission for the public to the park is generally free, the Trust may allow the park to be used for special events from time to time.
Structure, Governance and Management
The Charity is administered under the scheme approved by the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales. The day to day operations of Castle Park house are delegated to Castle Park Trust Executive Management Committee (CPT) which comprises councillors from the wards local to Castle Park, namely:
- Frodsham (two representatives)
- Helsby (one representative)
- Kingsley (one representative)
The Executive Management Committee also includes two non-voting members from organisations which use the park or which are otherwise closely associated with Castle Park.
The powers and responsibilities of the Council (as Trustee) and CPT with regard to the management of Castle Park House are set out in a scheme of delegation. This reserves certain powers to the Council in relation to the approval of the overall strategic direction, policies and corporate governance of the Trust. Responsibility for developing and implementing those strategies is delegated to the Executive Committee.
From 1 April 2017 all costs and income generated from Castle Park house and the surrounding buildings (by the Trust or the Council) will be consolidated and placed within the delegated control of CPT. This includes any rental income generated, the costs of operating and maintaining the house and any support required by the CPT to deliver these roles. Cheshire West and Chester’s Cabinet, acting on behalf of the Trustee, retain responsibility for approving the annual budget and business plan.
The management of the wider park operations remain the responsibility of the Council and will continue to be managed under the existing service level agreement. This Grounds SLA allows for the Council to use the grounds and facilities for the provision of its leisure function as a Local Authority. In return, the Council agrees to maintain the grounds to an agreed standard at nil cost to the Trust.
The Scheme approved by the Charity Commission, for Castle Park Trust is 10 years old and is currently being reviewed with a view to:
- Developing broader objectives to maximise the benefit of the park to residents.
- Broadening the powers of the Trustee to ensure the way the Trust operates maximises benefits to the residents; to include explicit power to raise funds, acquire property and co-operate with other charitable organisations.
Any resulting changes will need consent from the Charity Commission.