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Newbury community building will not be sold, council says

Negotiations under way over future of Waterside Centre

Newbury community building will not be sold, council says

THE future of the Waterside Youth and Community Centre in Newbury could be a little clearer after West Berkshire Council categorically denied the building would be sold off.

The council’s executive member for young people, Lynne Doherty, also said negotiations with two partners to refurbish the building were at an advanced stage.

The canalside centre just off Northbrook Street offers leisure activities for local youngsters, as well as providing an integrated youth support service.

At a recent meeting of the council’s executive committee, member of the public Diana Pattenden sought re-assurances from the members that the centre would remain available for community use.

She asked: “Could you please tell me what the council’s intentions are for the future of the Waterside Youth and Community Centre in relation to its use and the current state of the building’s repair?”

Mrs Doherty responded: “The council has had a long-standing commitment to refurbish the site and potentially open the facility to the wider benefit of the children and young people in Newbury.

“The council has not been in a position to fund and resource such a project and has been looking for potential partners to assist.

“I am pleased to be able to say we are now in advanced stages of negotiations with two other parties who are prepared to come forward to run the building and provide the resources to refurbish it, which will ensure the continuing community use of the Waterside Centre.

“These discussions are at the contractual stage, so it would not be appropriate to go into details at this stage.”

Ms Pattenden asked for categorical assurance that the building will not be sold for commercial gain, to which Ms Doherty confirmed: “It is the intention that the building will remain for community use.”

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