Youth centre steps up its fight to stay in current location

Councillor Ann Wallace with Members of Fagley community Centre.

Councillor Ann Wallace with Members of Fagley community Centre.

First published in News

A YOUTH centre fighting to stay in its current home now hopes to buy up the building to secure its future.

The team that runs Fagley Youth and Community Centre aims to get Lottery cash to buy the centre, at Fagley Road, despite a plan to move them out to make way for a new school.

An education trust plans to use the site to open a primary-age Free School called the Khalsa Engineering Academy, which would open in September and would be run with a Sikh ethos.

The community centre's landlord, Newlands Community Association, had asked the centre to voluntarily surrender its lease and move into a modern disused church half a mile away, but the centre team objected.

Now the centre's trustees have applied to have the building listed as an asset of community value.

This would mean if the owner wanted to sell up, it would have to give community groups a certain amount of time to put in an offer.

In the application, the trustees say they hope to get a Big Lottery grant to buy the building and land to "secure it for community use in perpetuity".

The application to list it as a community asset will be considered by the Bradford East Area Committee when it meets on Friday, and it is recommended for approval.

Councillor Ann Wallace (Lib Dem, Eccleshill), who is also a centre board member, said getting the centre listed would help with their bid to buy it outright and secure the youth centre permanently.

She said: "It would be a massive asset for Fagley. Fagley for a long time has had a bad reputation. That's why they call themselves the 'forgotten estate'."

But Cllr Wallace said Newlands was still determined to push ahead with the plans to turn the site into a school.

She said: "They have got people coming on Thursday to measure up to look at it being converted into a school until the big school is built."

No-one at Newlands Community Association was available to comment.

Bradford East Area Committee will also consider an application to have a vacant housing office listed as a community asset.

The applicant, Hannah Alexander Limited, says the Council-owned building in Leeds Road, Thornbury, could be used to deliver community projects.

The application is recommended for approval.

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