“It breaks my heart that we have to leave”

Bruce Crowther has spoken of his heartbreak over the Fig Tree centre
Bruce Crowther has spoken of his heartbreak over the Fig Tree centre

Lancaster is new hope for Fig Tree to continue

Fig Tree director Bruce Crowther has spoke of his “heartbreak” as Garstang’s Fair Trade centre prepares to leave town.

The Fair Trade visitor centre and cafe will close on November 10 much to the dismay of director Bruce.

He said: “It breaks my heart that we have to move and it hurts that there is nothing we can do. But now that we are moving we want every one to know why.”

It is claimed that the centre “has no choice but to leave” after a disagreement with Garstang Town Council over the expiry of its lease.

Despite claims that centre volunteers developed a business plan in 2013, which envisaged raising £300,000 to secure the Wyre Borough Council community building, Bruce has recently challenged as to “why the town council working party never even considered” their offer.

Coun Alan Vincent, at Wyre Council, said: “We have a responsibility to ensure that we get a commercial return from all our investments including buildings, and whilst we are always supportive of local businesses, we cannot ignore that responsibility.”

Prospective purchasers of Garstang’s Community Centre will be invited to make their bids within the next few weeks. The news follows a meeting between Garstang Town Council representatives and the leader and Chief Executive of Wyre Council.

After the meeting Wyre Council leader Coun Peter Gibson said: “It was a very positive meeting. The Town Council has come forward with their idea of a joint partnership arrangement .We’ll certainly look at that and leave other parties to come forward with any other offers.”

Wyre Council owns the High Street Centre and deems it an “underperforming asset”.

But the Town Council persuaded Wyre to list it as community asset giving community groups six months to raise funds to make a bid to buy the High Street property.