It’s been a long road but we finally have a draft lease and licence to alter from the University. Yay! Our solicitor has looked them over, and so have I, and we’ve responded to the University.

Electricity meters have now been fitted – although I’m waiting on confirmation of exactly which circuits are now metered!  Last week an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the premises was prepared (hopefully we’ll get to see it soon – and undoubtedly wince, as I suspect it’s not the best insulated space!). The water supplies are definitely potable, too.

We’ve found that as well as the regular Cat6 cabling through the space, we actually have a bit of University Granta backbone fibre coming in!  This is almost certainly not something we can use, but it’s encouraging that there may be some fast network links possible one day.  I’ve also learnt that BT did once run a broadband link into the space; we haven’t been able to work out where that came in or if it’s still in place, but it might mean we can get networking up sooner rather than later.

The lease and licence to alter need a few changes, and we’re still awaiting some final documents and costings before we can agree anything. For instance, we can’t commit to a lease which demands we pay a Service Charge without having an estimate of what that charge might be. I’m also holding out for an asbestos report and a copy of the EPC and so on. There’s some frustrations in this sort of lease – because it doesn’t read the way we understand things will work out. For instance, the lease says we’ll have to restore the premises to the way they were at the start of the lease when we leave (removing the access control system, for example); we hope and expect that this won’t be required, but the wording will probably have to stay in to keep the University lawyers happy.

Hopefully some more progress to report very soon – although the half-term holidays mean it might be next week before things move forward again.

The draft lease is here!

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