Newport's Baneswell community centre could be sold off
10:19am Wednesday 1st January 2014 in News
NEWPORT council is considering closing Baneswell Comnmunity Centre and either selling it off or renting it out.
A report to the cabinet member for human resources and assets Mark Whitcutt says volunteers who run the apparently little-used centre say they want to give up due to ill health.
No decision has yet been made.
Baneswell Community Centre, which is located at the end of Bailey Street and St Mary Street, is in a state of disrepair according to the report.
A minimum of £60,000 in essential work would be needed to put the building in a basic state of repair, and there is no demand for the building within the council itself.
A survey conducted in 2012 found that £10,000 of work was needed to prevent the building from deteriorating.
Electrics in the building were found to be in serious risk of failure with work in the region of £50,000 needed to bring them up to an acceptable standard.
Use of the centre by local people has diminished over the years and it is only booked infrequently during the week, according to the council report.
The couple who manage the building are both in ill health and have indicated their desire to “give up” responsibility for the site.
“It will be difficult, if not impossible, to find another body willing to take on this liability given the limited usage of the building,” the report read.
Officers have recommended that the building is disposed for sale or to generate a rental income.
“Its on-going maintenance would be a drain on resources as immediate basic maintenance work is required together with on-going security,” the report added.
The community centre is adjacent to Baneswell Nursery which was declared surplus in 1999 and subsequently let to a private Welsh medium nursery that vacated the premises in 2012.
Miqdad Al-Nuaimi, Stow Hill Labour councillor, said the community centre is an “important facility for people and people would like to see it retained.
“But we are going to have to look at the economics of that as well,” he said.
Cllr Al-Nuaimi said he would discuss the matter with Cllr Whitcutt when they both meet later this week.
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