Community Centre is now up for sale

Garstang Community Centre April 2014
Garstang Community Centre April 2014

Garstang Community Centre is on the market .

Wyre Council has placed an advertisement in property magazine “Estates Gazette” inviting offers to be submitted by November 30.

The flagship building (pictured) on the town’s High Street is being marketed as having potential for redevelopment/alternative use, subject to planning permission.

A Wyre Council spokeswoman said: “There is no guide price, we are simply inviting offers.”

There are currently 11 tenants in the building and four rooms are vacant, with The FIG Tree Fairtrade Centre set to leave the building within weeks.

The Centre is home to a long established dance school, Garstang Town Council and a local youth club, as well as a range of private business. Described in the sales information as “Garstang Business Centre” would-be purchasers are advised it is: “a multi let building, constructed traditionally over basement, ground, mezzanine and first floors and set within landscaped grounds. Users include solicitors, cafe , office, consultants, therapists and community services. Tenancy details available on request.”

The 8,476 square foot property is offered for sale freehold, with would be purchasers advised to make an appointment with Wyre Council’s Estates department.

Any sale would be subject to Council approval.

The Council, which had named the Centre as an under-performing asset, has given Garstang Town Council and other interested community groups until December to make an offer for the property.

Coun Peter Gibson, leader of Wyre Council, acknowledged there was still time for a community bid to be made, but said: “We’ve gone on now to look for expressions of interest. It couldn’t be sold until the six months expired. We want to test the market. It depends what comes in if anything. If no bids come in, we’ll have to look at it again: “

He continued: “If bids do come in we’ll have to look at them but we’ll also look at the site in terms of how we can help to rehouse the Town Council. We don’t want any of them (building’s tenants) to move away from Garstang and we will have to see what’s available in the area.”

Poulton Youth and Community Centre has also been marketed in the Estates Gazette with a closing date of October 30 for offer.

The future of the centre has been in the spotlight for the last year. Fig Tree Director Bruce Crowther claims he had no alternative but to seek a new location for the renowned international Fairtrade Centre because of the failure to progress a community bid and uncertainty over future tenancy arrangements.

A working party chaired by town Mayor Coun Graham Salisbury has been working on a Business Plan to secure the centre, but its first public suggestion, that the scouts and guides HQ on Kepple Lane be sold to fund a centre purchase, was firmly rejected by guide and scout bosses.