The future of Horncastle Youth Centre was left hanging in the balance after Lincolnshire County Council put the building, in Cagthorpe, up for sale for £300,000 earlier this month after it was closed permanently earlier this year.
Then Horncastle Town Council voted to list the youth centre as an asset of community value at an extraordinary meeting on September 30, subject to East Lindsay District Council’s agreement, which will prevent the building being sold on and in the meantime, the Horncastle Youth Centre Working Group (HYCWG) have six months to raise the money to buy the building.
But this morning (Tuesday), it was announced that at a meeting on Thursday, a HYCWG spokesman met with Councillor Richard Butroid, portfolio holder for property at LCC; District Councillor and Horncastle Town Mayor Fiona Martin; and county councillor William Gray to discuss the future of the former Youth Club building.
There, it was confirmed that the county council is currently reviewing the options of its properties in Horncastle, including the former Youth Centre, and LCC will also be looking into whether it’s possible to make the building safe for users to return to the building in the short term.
HYCWG trustees welcomed the news that LCC had reconsidered its disposal of the historic building, and the prospect that it will remain in public hands.
“We understand that one possibility is that function halls and ancillary areas of the building would remain available for use by community organisations,” said a HYCWG representative.
“We are excited that this could mean users can return to the site, which is badly needed. Several clubs are still looking for somewhere to go, nearly three years after being told of the decision to close. They are over the moon.
“Of course the option we have been pursuing is taking on ownership of the building - which we would still favour as a last resort - but the end goal has always been to save this public asset for the people of Horncastle and the users who still call it ‘home’.”
The working group thanked officers and councillors for their cooperation, and for recognizing residents’ wishes.
Further meetings will be held to discuss the arrangements in more detail when plans are more advanced.