STUDLEY village hall management committee says it has been left ‘outraged’ after the parish council revealed plans to increase the rent for the venue by 33,499 per cent.
The management team claims the hike has come 23 years into a 50-year peppercorn rent lease agreement, which would see the annual bill rise £1 per year to £33,500.
Studley Village Hall was gifted by the village hall management committee to the parish council in 2008 and is used for community events.
To keep costs to a minimum, the village hall is run by a voluntary management committee.
A management committee spokesperson said: “We do not understand why such a hike in rent has been demanded with no prior discussion between the parish council and the management committee.
“It is clear from our audited accounts that any surplus income, which average around £4,000 a year for the last 10 years, has been used for maintenance, repairs and improvements.
“Studley Parish Council receive a copy annually of our audited accounts.
“We fail to understand why the parish council have chosen to pursue this course of action against the village hall at a time when all organisations are continuing their recovery following the pandemic.”
The committee say if the rent does increase, the hire charges would then also increase.
“This would be wholly unjustified and completely unsustainable to the local community.
“The hall is a registered charity run on a not-for-profit basis.
“Any income is used to maintain, repair and improve the building and facilities and to pay the wages of the three part-time local employees.
A spokesperson from Studley Parish council said: “Whilst negotiations are ongoing with the Studley Village Hall Management Committee it would not be appropriate to comment at this time.”