Community centre plans to be debated

Gildersome Youth Centre on Street Lane.

Gildersome Youth Centre on Street Lane.

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Proposals to save voluntary groups who use under threat community centres from folding will be discussed in the coming weeks.

The council recently began a review into the futures of Gildersome Youth Centre and Lewisham Park with the closure of both a possibility.

Now town councillors have proposed selling off the Gildersome premises with a view to relocating youth groups to the village’s Meeting Hall.

The move would involve money generated from the sale being used to extend and improve facilities at the hall in a bid to make it fit for purpose.

Coun Bob Gettings from Gildersome Parish Council said: “We have explored, with centre users, the option of moving them to the Meeting Hall in Gildersome. This would require the Meeting Hall to be extended but we believe we have a plan that would accommodate all the groups who are presently using the Youth Centre.

“All the groups do excellent work in providing positive opportunities for local children and young people and it is essential we relocate them to an improved Meeting Hall.”

Meanwhile, it has been suggested that users of Lewisham Park take over the running of the centre from the council, with financial support from local authorities.

Coun Wyn Kidger said the proposal was a “positive” one that would “confirm the centre’s future”.

She said: “We are optimistic that we have a plan that will give the centre and the groups that use it a long and sustainable future.”

The council have previously insisted that closing the centres would be a “last resort when all other options have been exhausted”.