Stark warning over future of centre - The Redditch Standard

Stark warning over future of centre

Redditch Editorial 5th Dec, 2014 Updated: 18th Oct, 2016   0

THE TRUST which owns Alcester’s Greig Centre could go into liquidation if members do not hand over its assets within three months.

Coun Lynda Organ issued the stark warning during a meeting of Stratford District Council’s decision-making Cabinet this week.

It comes just six months after the authority stepped in to transfer the site from trustees following years of financial difficulties to ensure there was no loss of leisure provision to residents.

But despite months of behind the scenes wrangling a deal has yet been done, raising the prospect the Trust will have to be dissolved which would result in the closure of the leisure complex for an indefinite period.

The delay has also cost taxpayers about £40,000 in emergency support and legal costs to keep the Trust going while the situation is resolved.

Coun Organ, responsible for finance and physical resources on the council, said: “I was unaware the process to transfer the Greig Centre from the trustees to the district council would be so painfully slow.

“Although much work has already taken place, there are still some outstanding items and once these are resolved the asset may be transferred and the Greig Trust dissolved.

“If the transfer is not achieved, the only course of action open to the council is to liquidate the Greig Trust.

“This route has not been a preferred option because of the disruption it would cause to the leisure facilities serving the residents of Alcester and the surrounding villages.”

The council agreed in March to take over ownership of the Hannah Susan Greig Memorial Hall and sports complex, after trustees warned their money problems were ‘terminal’ and closure was imminent.

It was hoped the deal would provide some much-needed stability to the Trust after years of financial turmoil, as well as pave the way for Alcester Town Council to take on the running of the hall, which was closed in 2011 after a bid to demolish the building and build homes on the site was rejected by planners.

While it is likely the council will gain the buildings over time in the event the Trust does have to be dissolved, in the interim it would mean the closure of the gym and other leisure facilities for an unknown period.


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