Appeal to keep Peterborough community centre open

A new management group is needed to secure the long-term future of a city community centre.

Friday, 28th June 2019, 7:00 am
Charteris Community Centre

Cash-strapped Peterborough City Council is currently off-loading its community assets to save money while trying to secure their long-term future.

This includes the Charteris Centre in Normanton Road, Welland, which is currently operated by the Dogsthorpe and Welland Neighbourhood Partnership which pays the bills and any repairs.

However, the council is now appealing for a new management group to take on a long-term lease to take over the running of the centre, which hosts Woodfield Park Pre-School (run by Family Action), open play and a Sunday lunch once a month, on top of other activities.

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The deadline for final applications is July 12.

Dogsthorpe and Welland Neighbourhood Partnership secretary Cherry Lester said the group was happy to see the council appealing for a management group to come forward.

She said: “We’ve had reassurances from the council it will stay designated as a centre for families, children and young people’s services delivered to groups in the community.

“We are hoping it will be a local charity that takes over that wants everyone to continue what they are doing at the moment.”

The council said it is carrying out a series of works before handing over the lease, including the replacement of main heating boilers.

The new management group will be required to put forward a “good business case” while recognising that many services will need to be free of charge and for the benefit of the local community, the authority added.

Cllr Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities, said: “Since 2010 more than 500 community buildings have closed nationally. In Peterborough that figure is zero. We will do everything we can to ensure buildings such as the Charteris Centre stay open.”

Anyone interested in taking over the running of the centre should request an application form and information pack which will contain further details on the lease and guidance on creating a business plan. To request this, email [email protected] at NPS Peterborough, which is administering the lease on behalf of the council.