Community poised to take over Prudhoe youth centre

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Prudhoe East Centre.
Prudhoe East Centre.
13 June 2017 1:18PM

PLANS to place Prudhoe’s youth centre into the control of the community are beginning to take shape.

Last week, Prudhoe Town Council agreed to contibute £2,500 towards the cost of a feasibility study into keeping Prudhoe East Centre active in the community.

In January, Northumberland County Council took a sudden decision to place the 52-year-old Front Street centre on the market.

The decision to relocate the facility to the Fuse Centre on Moor Road was taken without consultation with staff, local councillors or the community.

The backlash that followed prompted then county council leader Grant Davey to halt the sale.

In February, Prudhoe Town Council agreed to explore the possibility of moving the youth centre out of county council control to safeguard its future.

Since then, Prudhoe Community Partnership (PCP) has lodged a Community Right to Bid for the East Centre.

The Community Right to Bid means that if an asset is put up for sale, a community or parish council can pause the sale for six months to find funding to purchase the asset.

The PCP said the right to bid was a back-up move and at a meeting with representatives from the town council on April 26, agreed that the preferred option would be a community asset transfer of the East Centre.

At the meeting, PCP chairman George Hepburn said that £5,000 would cover the cost of a feasibility study to ascertain if an asset transfer of the East Centre was possible.

Town councillors George McCreedy and Chris Cuthbert agreed to work with the PCP on the feasibility study.

And at the last meeting of Prudhoe Town Council, councillors agreed to contribute half of the cost and chase up information on the building’s running costs and cost of repairs from the county council.

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