The Forum has been under community management since August 2012, but the journey to this point and since takeover has certainly been eventful...
In early 2011 consultations began with the users of the Forum to gauge interest in taking over the operation of the building, and to work out how to move forward. By mid-2011, a core of representatives formed the Forum Users Group, affectionately known as FUG. This group was augmented with other volunteers from the area and did a great deal of background work visiting other similar facilities and seeing how their communities were managing them and speaking to a wide range of stakeholders. A business plan was subsequently developed and submitted to the Council giving them the confidence to hand over the operation of the facility. In July 2012 the Business Plan was approved by the District Council and the company The Forum (Northallerton) Ltd was registered with Companies House, with a Board of Directors made up of a nucleus of members of 'FUG' joined by other members of the community who stepped up to help..
The building was handed over to the newly-formed company on 1st August 2012 on a 25-year peppercorn lease. After a handover period, the new organisation took full operational control in November 2012.
We are grateful for the skills and commitment of all the staff who have helped us on this journey in the period since our formation.
Vital to our success so far has been the local community. We are grateful to the many people who have given their time and expertise to enable us to reach this point, and one of our greatest assets is the pool of volunteers who help run many elements of the Forum. Their support is invaluable and they have the gratitude of the organisation and the wider community we serve.