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Ipswich: Whitehouse Community Centre closes after committee collapse

PUBLISHED: 18:09 23 April 2014

A Halloween party held at the community centre - one of many family activities hosted there

A Halloween party held at the community centre - one of many family activities hosted there

Another community centre in Ipswich has closed and been boarded up after the organisation that ran it effectively ceased to exist.

Whitehouse Community Centre has been boarded up by the borough council which owns the building. Everything of value inside has been removed for safe storage.

The move comes after the Whitehouse Residents’ Association – which ran the community centre – was left with no committee members, no employees, and no trustees.

Now the borough is looking to other organisations which might be interested in taking over the community centre in Limerick Close.

A council spokesman said: “We are keen to retain this building for community uses. We will be writing later this week to community and voluntary sector groups in the town to draw this opportunity to their intention.

“We intend to use a similar process to that which we used to seek occupiers for the former Crown Court building that we acquired earlier this year.”

Any interested groups should contact susan.rutter@ipswich.gov.uk to ensure that they receive the information about the site and the expression of interest process.

Expressions of interest will need to be submitted by May 16 and it is hoped that a future occupier will have been identified by the end of May and the building re-opened as possible after that.

The borough believes that one possible use for the centre could be as a “village hall” for the Whitehouse area of the town – the centre is also not far from the Whitton estate.

The centre was set up in the late 1980s by the residents’ association which had originally been formed to represent council tenants whose Orlit prefabs were replaced by the borough during that decade.

Lynn Andrews was the founding chair of the association, and said it had been very popular at one time: “There were all kinds of events – social evenings, bingo, and things for children.

“I haven’t been involved there for some time, but I know there were problems in getting people involved. As those who set it up have moved on it is often difficult to find new people to take over.”

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