Anger after talks over running Peterborough community centre break down

Darrell Goodliffe and Mike Fletcher outside Copeland Community Centre. EMN-191203-192915009
Darrell Goodliffe and Mike Fletcher outside Copeland Community Centre. EMN-191203-192915009
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Talks over a deal to run a Peterborough community centre have broken down.

The city council is looking to transfer over all of its community assets, including Copeland Community Centre in Bretton, for other groups to run.

Copeland, which hosts activities such as pilates, Slimming World, a health group and children’s party hire, is managed by the Copeland Community Association.

The group’s chair Michael Fletcher said it is happy to pay all the bills to continue running the centre, but without a formal lease. He claims this offer has been rejected and the centre will close at the end of March.

He added: “We have up to 500 people who come here every week and the council wants to close it. It’s an absolute outrage.”

The council said if nobody agrees a lease by the end of the month it will put temporary staff in place, but it is confident of a deal being struck with another community group.

Cllr Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities, said the community association gave notice to withdraw its management “after long term negotiations to put a lease in place fell through”. She added: “The city council has no intention of closing this very busy and valuable centre.”