Corby’s former TA Centre on the market as part of public buildings sell-off

A landmark building that is home to several Corby charities now looks certain to be flattened to make way for housing.

Friday, 24th May 2019, 6:00 am
These former public buildings are among several being sold off in Corby NNL-190523-151155005

The Corby Voluntary and Community Services (CVCS), known colloquially as the TA Centre, in Elizabeth Street is being marketed for sale by government department Homes England.

It is the latest in a number of sell-offs of prominent public buildings that were constructed as part of Corby New Town.

Homes England last year sold the Connaughty Centre to a private bidder. As well as the TA Centre, the government department also the town’s disused magistrates’ court up for sale. Northamptonshire Police are marketing their former station in Elizabeth Street for sale.

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The former TA drill hall is part of the Corby New Town legacy NNL-190523-144730005

The CVCS site is being promoted as being suitable for a mixed residential and commercial scheme and the propose development already has the initial nod from Corby Council.

The fate of the charities based there is not known although it is hoped that a new home can be found for them.

For years, the large building’s office and meeting space has been used as a base for several charities, as a drop-off point for local collections and as an advice centre for a myriad of local voluntary organisations.

MP Tom Pursglove also holds regular advice surgeries there.

The TA Centre (CVCS) site in Elizabeth Street, Corby, extends to nearly an acre NNL-190523-144720005

The building is being actively marketed to developers who are being invited to submit bids by July 2 along with an outline of their proposal for the site. It is then hoped that the site will be fully transferred over to the new owner by the end of September.

Before coming into use a volunteer bureau it was a base for the town’s territorial army volunteers - including a rifle range at the rear of the building.

Local man Dennis Binks was in the regular army and was posted to Corby TA centre more than 40 years ago. After retiring from the army he became a prolific volunteer and ran a spiritualist church from the building’s former chapel.

He said it would be a great shame to see the building demolished.

Dennis Binks teaching a young TA volunteer to shoot a rifle in the range at the rear of the builidng. NNL-190523-144826005

“We had to move the church out because the writing’s been on the wall at the volunteer bureau for some time now and we just had to take a new space at Beanfield Community Centre when it became available.

“I also helped run a homeless service there for people for two years and we ran our Helping Hands advice service from there.

“There have been so many voluntary services run there over the years.

“Welfare rights and the citizen’s advice have closed down in the town so where are people going to go? These charities are so important.”

The site is nearly an acre in an enviable position on the corner of Elizabeth Street, right opposite Coronation Park. There are four large garages and two derelict semi-detached properties at the rear of the building.

The sale has been mooted for several years and the CVCS was given the option to buy it, but it proved not to be viable.

The running of the centre has been funded for many years via a grant from Corby Council.

A Homes England spokeswoman said: “We are liaising closely with Corby Borough Council and Corby Voluntary and Community Services about the future of the site, which could lead to re-development of the site with new housing. A planning brief has since been agreed with Corby Borough Council planners, which will be subject to planning approval, and the property is now being actively marketed.”

Nobody from the volunteer bureau was available to comment.

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