Bury St Edmunds: Progress is made on Newbury Community Centre moving into community ownership

Newbury Community Centre, St Olaves Road, Bury St Edmunds.

Newbury Community Centre, St Olaves Road, Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: Archant

The results of building surveys at a Bury St Edmunds community centre will reveal whether a brand new centre is needed.

Talks are taking place between the Newbury Community Association (NCA), which runs the Newbury Community Centre, and St Edmundsbury Borough Council about transferring the centre into community ownership.

A report which went before the borough council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday gave an update on the progress which is being made to transfer over to community ownership the four remaining centres which the council supports financially.

At the meeting councillor Robert Everitt said the council had received a commitment from the NCA to work with the authority on the transfer.

In a letter to the NCA, Mr Everitt suggested if building survey work reveals the centre can be put in a reasonable condition for the next 5-10 years relatively cheaply the council would carry out the work, and the building would then be transferred to the community in the next 12 months or so. But if a substantial amount of money needed to be spent on it in the next 5-10 years, “then it is not realistic to expect the community to take on its ownership in the near future”.

If this was the case he said the council would want to work with the community on the option of a redevelopment “as an urgent priority,” with the new building being owned by the community from the outset.

As the council does not have cash for such a project, Mr Everitt said “we would need to think laterally about funding”.

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NCA trustee Ernie Broom said: “We are keen and want to do it and take the place over, but we cannot take it over in the state it’s in so we have been trying over the years to get some sort of agreement on it.”

He added: “It’s good we are moving forward at long, long last.”

Some of the building surveys have taken place.