Community centre’s future secured

The future of a Cudworth community centre has been secured after Cabinet Members voted today (Wednesday 4 March) to grant a 20 year lease on the property to a local charitable organisation. 

Cabinet Members were asked to approve the granting of a 20 year lease of Valley Community Centre at Cudworth to Valley Community Association (VCA), a registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).

The lease will provide security to enable VCA to continue to provide the activities and facilities currently available at the centre to the community.

The centre on Manor Road, built in the 1990s with a car park and children’s outside play area, has been maintained internally and externally to a good standard.

VCA already runs the centre, which offers room space for hire to anyone in the community. It is open seven days a week, is run on a day-to-day basis by volunteers and one part-time employee - a caretaker.

VCA occupies the property through a lease initially granted in 1997 to the trustees of the association. The trustees have since formed as a registered charitable entity.

The association pays nil rent, but takes responsibility for internal repairs. Berneslai Homes is responsible for any external repairs.

VCA requested a new lease on similar terms to secure future occupation of the property in order to continue to provide the activities and facilities currently available to the community at the centre.

VCA has provided a business plan which illustrates that the community centre broadly breaks even in terms of income and expenditure, therefore VCA was unable to commit to paying a market rent for the property.

Therefore Cabinet agreed to approve the lease on the basis that although it will not generate rental income for the council, the association will continue to manage the community centre for the benefit of the local community on a long-term basis.

This long-term security will also benefit the association in applying for any grant funding as external funding bodies often require long-term security of premises.

Cllr Robert Frost, Cabinet Support Member for Place (Regeneration and Culture), said: “This is excellent news for the people of Cudworth as it means this valued local community centre is safeguarded for the long term.

“The Valley Community Association already do great work in keeping this centre at the heart of their community and we are seeking to give them the security to continue that in the coming years.”

Community activity and leisure facilities are important in fostering social cohesion and improving physical and mental health of residents. The centre will be available for use by the whole community offering a range of activities for all ages and abilities thereby the recommendation is in line with the council’s aims of promoting equality, diversity and social inclusion and tackling health inequalities.

This news is linked to Town Spirit. We believe, that if everyone in Barnsley does just one thing, we can make our borough a more welcoming place to live, work, invest and visit.

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We’ve committed to support community groups and initiatives as part of this theme, which sets out how we will work together and do our best for our local communities, making our borough a cleaner, safer, more vibrant and welcoming place.

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