Elmswell residents fighting for community centre’s future

Wesley Hall in Elmswell is up for sale; the parish council and the hall's management committee are putting together a bid to purchase it.Tony Chaplin (management committee chairman), Peter Dow (parish clerk) and David Barker (parish council chairman) with supporters. ANL-141211-163412001
Wesley Hall in Elmswell is up for sale; the parish council and the hall's management committee are putting together a bid to purchase it.Tony Chaplin (management committee chairman), Peter Dow (parish clerk) and David Barker (parish council chairman) with supporters. ANL-141211-163412001
0
Have your say

The race is on to save a valued community hub in Elmswell after its owners announced they plan to sell up.

The recent decision by the Methodist Church to sell off Wesley Hall, in School Road, has prompted concern among the community about the potential loss of a vital amenity.

Many clubs who use the building, including the Millenium History Group and the mother and toddler group, fear the village’s other community facility the Blackbourne Centre will not be able to handle Wesley Hall’s workload if it does not reopen in its current capacity.

Elmswell Parish Council clerk Peter Dow said: “The Wesley Centre is a very important part of the social infrastructure of the village.

“The general feeling is that we have to do something to save this site for Elmswell.”

The parish council and the Wesley Centre Management Committee have registered for a Community Right to Bid, which would give them a period of six months to find funding to purchase the building and develop a plan for its use before it is put on public sale.

Mr Dow said: “As a community we have experience in realising assets, building new ones and making them work, as we have done with the Blackbourne Centre.

“I know that mountains can be moved, and that is what we are trying to do.”

Management committee chairman Tony Chaplin said: “It’s the only place in Elmswell with a permanent stage, and with essential storage space.

“It is a very useful asset to the village and we have made that case.”