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Laindon Community Centre building handed back to council

03 Nov Laindon Community Centre building handed back to council

Basildon Council has taken over the running of the existing Laindon Community Centre site, after the keys were handed to the council by the Laindon Community Association.

The council has been working with the association over the past few months following the requirement for the centre to close in line with government guidance provided in March.

Laindon Community Centre was in need of major investment before the current pandemic and the current position means that even more investment is needed. The centre is currently unable to open, mainly due to a lack of mechanical ventilation. There is also significant repair and maintenance work that needs to be undertaken for it to be in an operational condition.

The council will now take responsibility for the building and will, at the right time, seek to reopen it when government restrictions and guidance allows this to happen. Given the restrictions that come into force on Thursday there is no set time frame.

Chairman of Neighbourhoods and Public Spaces Committee, Councillor David Harrison, said “I would like to thank the Community Association for its work over a long period of time, and I hope they will still be a very important part of shaping the centre’s future. I have spoken to the Trustees to thank them as well.

“We are working to re-open some areas of the building soon as we are able to. We are committed to providing a fit for purpose, sustainable community facility in Laindon.”

Leader of Basildon Borough Council, Councillor Gavin Callaghan, said: “We thank Laindon Community Association for their best efforts in trying to manage the centre and keep it open for residents, but this hasn’t been possible. For more than twenty five years there has been a chronic under-investment in the centre and there is now significant debts that the Association are unable to repay. COVID has made reopening incredibly difficult so income streams are limited.

“We need to plan for the future needs of Laindon residents and then consider what the best provision to match that need is. We will do this in consultation with residents about what works in the existing centre and what could be improved in any future development. That is why I am meeting with members this week to discuss the future of the centre.

“We want to reassure the residents of Laindon that we will create a modern, fit for purpose centre for the benefit of the Laindon community and we will structure the new centre in a way so that the legacy of under-investment in community assets is never allowed to happen again.”