Can town buy the community centre?

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Four of Garstang’s town councillors were this week given the go-ahead to investigate whether a community buy- out of the town’s business and community centre is a practical option.

The green light for the progressing of a feasibility study on a community takeover of the Wyre Council owned centre was given the town council’s unanimous backing during a two-hour meeting on Monday night.

But that was not before a member of the public warned against adding any costs to the town council rates.

Meanwhile, local dance school owner Kathleen Pinon, who has taught at the centre for two decades, said : “I feel after 20 years that it’s not a good thing to say, ‘We don’t want you any more’. I want to know how many years do I have in this building?”

Now a working party comprising of the Mayor, Coun Chris Ryan, Mayor-elect Coun Graham Salisbury, Coun Lady Dulcie Atkins and Coun 
David Williams has been asked to investigate further.

It will set to work to research issues such as the likely cost of buying the High Street building, possible sources of funding for any purchase, and the implications for the people of Garstang in years to come.

Coun Salisbury said he saw this as an opportunity for Garstang and praised the building’s central location.

Local man Stuart McPhillips asked if ideas from the public would be welcomed.

No date has been set for the working party to report back, but time is limited as Wyre Council, which has agreed to designate the building as a community asset, has placed the centre on a list of “underperforming assets”.