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Community centre future hanging in the balance

Published date: 21 January 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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THE future of an under-threat community centre is looking bleak after takeover talks broke down, a meeting heard.

But the future of a second threatened centre could be rosier.

Brymbo and New Broughton’s community councils have agreed a deal to part-fund Lodge Community Centre after funding cuts from Wrexham Council meant community centres across the county face being taken over or being closed in April.

But councillors have expressed concerns over the future of Tanyfron Community Centre after it emerged discussions with a community group had broken down.

It had been hoped the charity Dragons Daycare would be interested in taking on the centre, but Cllr Paul Rogers told members of the community council it was almost certain the centre would close by April.

Cllr Rogers said it was a shame a deal could not be struck as it was an ideal opportunity to secure the future of the community centre and Dragons Daycare.

“I am frustrated by the situation”, he said.“It was hoped Dragons Daycare could relocate to the centre as their current venue – the school house – may not be available for much longer if the school needs to expand.”

He added other avenues will now be explored to try and secure vital funding and alternative venues for existing groups currently using the Tanyfron Community Centre to relocate to if necessary.

The community council has set aside a contingency fund to support community groups financially if they come forward with viable proposals to take on centres.

It was agreed 50 per cent of the running costs of Lodge Community Centre, which will amount to £654 each for the next financial year, will be paid by both New Broughton and Brymbo community councils.

Cllr Rogers said Lodge was often forgotten about as a community as a result of being on the boundary of the two communities in Brymbo and New Broughton.

“Lodge is right between the two communities, is poorly served by buses and we felt it was important not to marginalise it”, he said. “This move will allow the village to maintain its identity and provides a focal point for the community.”

At the community council meeting there was strong protest from Cllr Melina Jones, a Bwlchgwyn member.

Bwlchgwyn Community Centre is threatened with the axe, with volunteers having to produce cash balance statements to prove their centres are viable. Cllr Jones said she objected to Lodge getting the money while Bwlchgwyn had to produce the statement.

She said: “If Bwlchgwyn lost its centre, it would only have a pub left in the village and that is under threat of being redeveloped into housing.”

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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