Bidding opens to take over the running of Horbury Community Centre

Horbury Community Centre
Horbury Community Centre

Community groups and organisations have been invited to take over the running of Horbury Community Centre.

Wakefield Council has insisted it is not selling the building, on Cluntergate, but it is looking to find a group to manage it on its behalf.

The council’s licensing office has been based in the centre since 2005 but it was relocated to the council’s main base, Wakefield One in the city centre, when it opened last year.

But the centre is still well used by community groups including dancers, mums and toddlers and diet clubs.

Judith Badger, Wakefield Council’s director of finance and property said: “In line with our asset management strategy, we are looking at a different way of managing the centre as well as increasing the number of community activities currently carried out there.

“The process has just started and we are simply inviting expressions of interest at this early stage.”

But fears have been raised that the community asset transfer could have a negative impact on groups which use the building for meetings.

Coun Janet Holmes said: “If a developer puts a bid in that is higher than the others, the council might have to accept it.

“Our community would really miss the facility. The officers in charge of the transfer have told me that they will look at that favourably.

“The cabinet members responsible are also very, very keen for it to he kept in the community.

“I will push 100 per cent for it to be and I will be very disappointed if it is not.”

The council has insisted it is not looking to sell the building at the moment but community groups are worried about the future.

Pauline Bradley and Sheila Haines run the toddlers group on Tuesdays and Fridays at the community centre.

Last year they feared the group might have to close after rumours started that the centre was being taken over by Tesco.

Mrs Bradley said: “If it did close it would have a big effect on the community.

“We have about twenty parents who bring their children to our group and they would miss it.”

She said they group had not been told what the community asset transfer was and only knew about it when a poster was put up.

Mrs Haines said: “The community centre is perfect for us. It would be a shame if it did close down.

“It is a smashing room, it’s lovely for parking. We love it because its got all the amenities we need.”