Soutgate Community centre makes history

Handover ceremony of the Southgate Community Centre from St Eds Borough Council to the community. Mayor of St Edmundsbury Cllr Christopher Spicer (left) with Roy Barnes, Chairman of Trustees.
Handover ceremony of the Southgate Community Centre from St Eds Borough Council to the community. Mayor of St Edmundsbury Cllr Christopher Spicer (left) with Roy Barnes, Chairman of Trustees.

SOUTHGATE Community Centre made history today when it became the first in the country to have its freehold passed to a community group.

Southgate Church, which is adjoined to the Bury St Edmunds centre, and Southgate Community Association have formed a partnership to run the centre. After two years of negotiation and paperwork, the lease was signed over to them by St Edmundsbury Borough Councillors at a ceremony today attended by local people, the borough’s mayor Cllr Christopher Spicer and Bury MP David Ruffley.

Mr Ruffley praised the Southgate ward for its sense of community and said: “We know there’s a lot more you can do. Don’t look at this as the council wanting to get shot of it. The right way to look at it is that you will be freed up to do what you want. There will be fewer people telling you what you can and can’t do.”

The Southgate Community Partnership has plans to improve the 35-year-old centre. The centre’s future is secured by deeds stipulating that the site can only be for community use.

See the full story in the Bury Free Press next week.