Residents’ group is set to manage community centre

SAVED: Farringdon Park Community Centre, which has been closed since last year
SAVED: Farringdon Park Community Centre, which has been closed since last year
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A residents’ group has been given the chance to run its own community centre.

Preston Council’s cabinet agreed to hand over the management of Farringdon Park Community Centre to its neighbours, on a year’s probation.

The Ribbleton centre has been closed since Signposts shut down last year, but now the Residents of Faringdon and Thirlmere (RAFT) are to be given the chance to run it themselves.

Town Hall bosses accepted recommendations to approve the expression of interest from RAFT to manage the centre for 12 months, and to approve recommissioning work and urgent repairs, at a cost of £8,450.

Coun Martyn Rawlinson said: “I am really glad we have got this report and it is committing to the building because the residents around there are desperate to keep that as a community centre.

“There is a group of residents there and if they lack any skills at all or money to keep it going, they have certainly got the enthusiasm.

“It is really good that we are committing so much to this. It is quite a small, defined community around there and they really need that building.

“We’ve got to keep these places going as much as possible.”

Dot Halliwell, secretary of RAFT, said the main priority once legalities were dealt with was to open a youth club, which had been due to open before Signposts closed.

She said: “The youngsters really are the people we need to be getting on board and give them a sense of responsibility.”

The cabinet agreed that Grange Community Centre, also in Ribbleton, was “surplus to requirement” after interested groups failed to come forward to save it.