Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
Failed Barnoldswick community centre bid criticised
2:46pm Thursday 28th June 2012 in News
Councillors have expressed their anger and frustration after a bid to re-open a community centre in Barnoldswick collapsed.
Coates Community Centre, on Coates Avenue, was shut in 2008 after it was discovered that building repairs would cost too much to carry out.
But since 2009, there was renewed interest in re-opening the centre, which is owned by Housing Pendle.
However, to re-open the building it was determined that essential improvements would cost £16,000.
The West Craven Area Committee had budgeted £5,000 from its capital programme for the repairs, if a voluntary management committee came forward to run the centre and if Housing Pendle would have paid for the remainder of the improvements.
But Housing Pendle decided that they would only be able to contribute 25 per cent of the repair costs due to the fact that only about one quarter of the residents on the estate are their tenants, and they were uncertain about the potential demand for the centre.
At a recent West Craven Area Committee meeting, councillors expressed their frustration with the process of trying to get the centre re-opened and they directed their anger at Housing Pendle.
“This has been going on and on - we’re getting nowhere with it,” said Coun Marjorie Adams (Lib Dem, Coates ward).
“The residents (who showed interest in running the voluntary management committee) have lost interest because they don’t know what’s going on.”
“Housing Pendle have changed the goal posts altogether,” said Coun Lindsay Gaskell (Lib Dem, Coates ward). “Since they’re only willing to put 25 per cent of the money up front, I don’t we can take on this project anymore.
“We should now inform Housing Pendle that we’ll not be putting any funding into it.”
“Housing Pendle should be ashamed of themselves because so many people have worked hard on this,” said Coun Jennifer Purcell (Cons, Craven ward).
“They’ve been dragging their feet on this from day one.
“It’ll be hard to get people’s interest back into this project, so we shouldn’t put any money into this and find a viable alternative use for it.”
The committee then passed a resolution to use the £5,000 from its capital programme budget for improving play equipment at the Avon Drive play area.
Coun Purcell added: “This money will be staying in the area, so at least it’s going to benefit people on the Coates estate.”