Wellingborough estate hub given green light as council transfers skills centre to community

The centre will be re-named and will offer a range of activities for residents

By Alison Bagley
Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 5:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 5:14 pm

A Wellingborough estate centre and hub has been passed to the community to manage as part of the council's asset transfer policy.

Hemmingwell Community and Skills Centre is to be granted a long-term lease by Wellingborough Council to enable it to continue and expand work its community work.

Councillors voted to grant a lease of the centre at Nest Farm under the council’s Community Asset Transfer policy, at its recent virtual resources committee meeting.

Cllr Graham Lawman, Rixon Ward councillor and a trustee of the Hemmingwell Community and Skills Centre, said: “We have ambitious plans to serve the community and provide a sustainable, safe and secure base for events, parties, training, fitness and well-being in the business plan that was agreed.

"We are keen to hear from residents about what they want for the centre. It is the village hall for the estate, but, so much more. We are also seeking volunteers to support us and some new board members.

“When all the legalities are resolved, we will be re-launching the centre as ‘The Nest’ to promote the new start and enhance the identity that the centre can be a base for residents as well as a nod to the street names on the estate - ready for when we are all able to meet again.

"In the meantime, we are still open for activities, where the guidelines allow.

l-r Cllr Graham Lawman, Paula Elmore (centre user), Jacqui Brown (trustee) and Tony Knaggs (trustee)

Alongside bolstering its existing services, the community asset transfer and nominal rent charged will allow the centre to offer new services, which will include the provision of a youth club, library, IT and training facilities, alongside the provision of a meeting space for other community schemes to use.

Council leader Martin Griffiths said: “Hemmingwell Community and Skills Centre provide an important service to the residents of the Hemmingwell, the town and the wider community.

“Over a number of years, the centre has helped to support and bring the community together, providing social events, sports facilities, hot meals, meeting rooms and vital educational support.

“We are delighted to be able to support this important and valued facility with this Community Asset Transfer and lease and really hope that the centre grows and improves its offer, benefitting our residents for many years to come."

Cllr Lawman added: "Hemmingwell Community and Skills Centre would like to thank the members and officers of the council for their work and support in the Community Asset Transfer process.”

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