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Managing company gets key to the tower

Greenham visitor centre preparing to open and looking for volunteers

Managing company gets key to the tower

FINAL preparations are being made to open Greenham control tower and the history within to the public.

Greenham Parish Council handed over the Grade II-listed building to Greenham Control Tower Ltd earlier this month. 

The ceremony was performed by Greenham Parish Council chairman Julian Swift-Hook and the chairman of the control tower committee, parish councillor Jon Gage, who handed over the keys to charity director and parish councillor Meg Thomas.

The charitable organisation is independent of the parish council and will take over the running of the building. 

The final refurbishment of the Cold War relic has been completed and Greenham Control Tower Ltd is making final preparations for opening and is looking for more volunteers.

Roles include guides, fundraising and event organisers, marketing and a groundsperson. 

The building will include a visitor centre, toilets and tea and coffee facilities.

It will also serve as a stop-off for visitors to Greenham Common, offering panoramic scenes from the viewing gallery.

The parish council purchased the control tower from West Berkshire Council in 2014. 

But the project has been hit by a number of setbacks, including a £60,000 bill for a planning application that wasn’t required and an audit finding that the parish council had operated beyond its powers and without proper legal authority. 

Having made changes highlighted in the audit and securing crucial funding, Mr Swift-Hook said he was hopeful that the building would be open soon. 

Mr Swift-Hook and Mr Gage highlighted the thousands of hours given by volunteers and councillors to make the project possible.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Swift-Hook said: “It is six years ago to the day, at a council meeting on April 11, 2012, that I suggested that Greenham Parish Council should consider buying the control tower and turning it into a visitor centre and café.

“In the intervening years we have faced and overcome a whole range of challenges, and we are now about to give the keys to the community organisation that is going to take over and run the building for the community.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you for the generous financial support the project received from both the Department of Communities and Local Government (through Social Investment Business), and from Greenham Trust. 

“Staff at Greenham Trust have also supported us in practical ways to help bring the project home.

“I’m enormously proud of what we have all achieved.”

For more information, visit Greenham Control Tower’s Facebook page.

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