Survey results will determine Newbury Community Centre transfer plans

Newbury Community Centre
Newbury Community Centre
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Council bosses are awaiting the results of surveys to determine if a community can take ownership of a community centre on a Bury St Edmunds estate.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council has drawn up two scenarios based on the surveys of the electrics and drains of Newbury Community Centre, on the Howard Estate.

In a letter to the Newbury Community Association, Cllr Robert Everitt, cabinet member for communities, said if the results show the building can be ‘put in a reasonable condition for the next five to 10 years relatively cheaply’, the council would carry out any work needed to put it in a ‘suitable state’ for community transfer in the next 12 months or so.

However, if major works are required ‘it is not realistic to expect the community to take on its ownership in the near future’. Cllr Everitt said: “The council does not any longer have funds of its own to carry out a major refurbishment or replacement either. Therefore, we would need to think laterally about funding, linked to a wider redevelopment which would generate capital receipts and/or developer contributions.”

He added that ‘any new building secured through a redevelopment would be held in community ownership from the outset’.

At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday night, he said they had received a letter from the community association stating they ‘are happy to work with the borough in trying to move forward the community ownership’.

He added that the Westbury Community Centre, was expected to be transferred in early 2014. It follows the transfer of the Southgate Centre.

Ivy Goodman, chairman of Newbury Community Association, said they wanted ‘more understanding’ of the works that needed to be done.