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Neighbourhood centre transferred to local community group

Published on Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A NEIGHBOURHOOD centre in Northfields is to be leased to a local group for it to run.

Northfields Neighbourhood Centre will now be run by the Islah Trust, which will ensure the building continues to be open for public use.

Islah Trust are currently the main users of the centre, and will take on responsibility for repairs and upkeep of the building under a five-year letting agreement.

As part of the agreement, Islah Trust will provide room hire for community groups and support local activities to run from the building, offering reduced room hire rates to local people.

The trust also intends to provide a range of activities and services from the premises, including sports sessions, health advice, educational opportunities and a community space for parties and other celebrations.

The initial rent will be £15,000 a year, on the condition that the facilities at the centre continue to be made available to local groups and there is no increase in any hire charges for the first 12 months.

The centre was offered up for ‘community asset transfer’ as part of the city council’s Transforming Neighbourhood Services programme.

Community organisations were invited to submit business plans for taking on the running of the building in autumn 2017. They were asked to show how they would provide access for local community groups and activities, and provide benefits for the community.

Cllr Kirk Master, assistant city mayor responsible for neighbourhood services, said: “This is good news for the local community, making sure that Northfields Neighbourhood Centre remains a hub for local people.

“The Islah Trust plans to support a range of existing services at Northfields Neighbourhood Centre, as well as promoting the centre to new groups.

“Local groups will be able to book rooms at the centre, with existing users able to continue to hire space at the same charge.”

The council will save £17,000 a year from the transfer of the building, which is part of their overall programme across the city to transform neighbourhood services.

The programme focuses on protecting the services people value by co-locating them in community buildings, which are often invested in to provide a wider range of facilities and longer opening hours.

New uses are found for buildings which are released by the programme. Some are made available for community groups like the Islah Trust to take over and run.