Talks break down over future of Peterborough community centre

Werrington Village Centre EMN-190702-122805009
Werrington Village Centre EMN-190702-122805009
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Talks have broken down over the future of a Peterborough community centre.

Werrington Community Association (WCA) has criticised both Werrington Parish Church and Peterborough City Council after failing to come to an agreement on Werrington Village Centre.

The building in Church Street is leased by the parish church to Peterborough City Council, which sub-leases it to the WCA.

The long-term £3,000 a year lease, though, ends at the end of the month and is not being renewed by the council.

The WCA wanted to take on the lease but has failed to reach a deal with the church. It said the main reasons for the breakdown in talks were:

. A clause which says the community centre can only host activities that accord with “doctrine, faith and practice of the Church of England”

. The rent being requested by the church

. Remedial work identified by the council in 2015 which are not being disclosed.

The council said it was completing all of the repairs itself.

The authority is currently transferring 47 community assets to the communities they serve to save £180,000 a year.

Cllr Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities, said: “We have tried to assist Werrington Community Association and the church to agree a new direct lease and it is disappointing that this has not been possible.”

The village centre hosts a pre-school and a number of community groups.

The church declined to comment to the PT, but wrote in Werrington Spotlight magazine that it was “committed to working with the current users” to transition the management of the centre from the WCA back to the church.