Centre could become a ‘community asset’

The former council buildings - now home to the FIG Tree
The former council buildings - now home to the FIG Tree
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Garstang’s former borough council offices are being nominated as a community asset in an effort to protect the future of the building.

Garstang Town Council decided to seek the designation following the recent debate over the building, now known as Garstang Business Centre, which adjoins the main car park off High Street.

Its owner, Wyre Council, is in the process of reviewing the future of the landmark property, which is home to the FIG Tree Centre and cafe plus several businesses, as well as the town council,

Meanwhile the town 
council plans to hold a public meeting in the week beginning December 9 to assess public opinion about the future of the premises, which have long been regarded as a community centre.

One of the campaigners for it to become a community owned building is Bruce Crowther, director of the FIG Tree centre. He said: “It is clear that there is support locally, nationally and internationally for the FIG Tree to remain in Garstang as the first Fairtrade town. We urge all residents from in and around Garstang to make their views known and ensure that councillors fully understand this level of support when making their final decision over the future of the building.”

In a further attempt to secure the location of the FIG Tree in Garstang, it is to become a co-operative registered as a Society for the Benefit of the Community, enabling it to raise capital through a member shareholder offer.

Already there have been £15,000 worth of “expressions of interest” to help towards community purchase of the building.

Meanwhile the FIG Tree Centre has marked its second birthday and the 12th anniversary of Garstang becoming the world’s first Fairtrade town.