A CHARITY has stepped in to run a community centre – meaning it has been saved for the hundreds of people who use it.
Last month the trustees decided to wind up the association that runs Leigh Park Community Centre, in Dunsbury Way.
It’s such an important and much-loved facility and we look forward to working with local people and groups to generate new ideas and uses for the buildingTim Houghton
Rising debts and a dwindling income meant they had no choice but to go into compulsory liquidation and hand the keys to the building back to the owner Havant Borough Council.
Services such as the mental health charity Mind, Citizen’s Advice Bureau, and more than a dozen community groups were at risk of losing the building.
But now the charity Communities First Wessex, known as Community First, has agreed to run it.
Tim Houghton, the chief executive of Community First, said: ‘We’re delighted to have the opportunity to manage the Leigh Park Community Centre.
‘It’s such an important and much-loved facility and we look forward to working with local people and groups to generate new ideas and uses for the building.’
The charity began managing the community centre on March 1.
Councillor Yvonne Weeks, from Havant Borough Council, said: ‘The charity formally approached the council regarding the lease.
‘It is important to us that the building remains open for business and opportunities for residents continue to be offered. The range of activities and training will increase over the coming months.’
All services and regular groups continue to run from the centre including Citizen’s Advice, Mind, Big World Impact, Leigh Park Boxing Club and the Older Person keep fit class, to name just a few.
There were a number of changes to the make-up of the community association over the years. Problems came to a head two following the closure of the bar – which was run as a limited company as part of the community centre association and closed just before Christmas.
Go to cfheh.org.uk.