Community centres in Thorney and Walton among those given green light for sale by Peterborough council

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The buildings are among the first to have their futures decided by the council’s cabinet

Seven community buildings in Peterborough face being sold off or given a new use after a decision from councillors this week.

Peterborough City Council’s (PCC) cabinet approved plans to sell Thorney Community Centre and Library, Walton Community Centre and 318 Gladstone Street, among others, at a meeting on Monday (12th February).

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This means council staff can begin work in earnest to bring these sales about, although in some cases further negotiations will be necessary first.

Thorney LibraryThorney Library
Thorney Library

In Thorney, for instance, the council says that the library and food bank which runs from in the centre will need to be relocated before any sale is finalised.

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List of community buildings Peterborough council considering selling is made pub...

PCC plans to sell Walton Community Centre to an education provider, it says, while Gladstone District Community Association will remain in 318 Gladstone Street, but under a new building owner.

The council also plans to sell 30 Cromwell Road, which houses community care services, lease Stafford Hall Community Centre to a third party and open a new children’s and family hub in Dogsthorpe Community Centre .

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Walton Community CentreWalton Community Centre
Walton Community Centre

Welland Contact Centre, meanwhile, will be converted to temporary housing if planning permission is approved.

These seven buildings form part of a wider review of all of the council’s assets.

Currently, a list of 28 community centres, leisure facilities and libraries are being looked at by the council, with a view to some of them being sold or repurposed.

Others on the list include the Regional Pool, Eye Youth Centre and Library and Paston Farm.

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Council considering appointing full time 'grant finder'

PCC says that it can’t afford to bring all of its assets up to standard and that it needs to sell some of them to help balance its budget.

But council leaders have also said that some of the money from the sales will be reinvested into its community provision.

At this week’s cabinet meeting, they added that they’re pushing for the council to designate a ‘grant finder’ who can spot government grants community groups could apply for to put into their centres.

Deputy leader Cllr John Howard (Peterborough First, Hargate and Hempsted) explained that this person would be “specialised, dedicated and full time”.

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“The responsibility is currently spread across different departments and different officers and what this would try to do would be to bring it into one role who’s more centralised and aware of the wider portfolio,” he said.

PCC’s assets review began last year and will continue throughout this year: the cabinet has been told it will receive quarterly updates on the work council staff are doing in relation to the buildings left on the list.

After decisions have been made about the first lot of community buildings, the council then plans to look at excess buildings schools and other education facilities may have before returning to more of its community buildings in future.

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