Youth centre future in balance

A meeting is to take place tomorrow night (Thursday) to consider an application to make a town youth centre a community asset – as Lincolnshire County Council put the building and land up for sale.
Horncastle Youth Centre.Horncastle Youth Centre.
Horncastle Youth Centre.

The decision to permanently close Horncastle Youth Centre earlier this year was met with dismay and outrage across the town, and Horncastle Youth Centre Working Group (HYCWG), headed up by Dominic Hinkins, who is also a town councillor, has been campaigning to save it ever since.

Speaking about the decision, Mr Hinkins said: “We’re obviously very disappointed with the decision, we haven’t yet given up hope and it’s not over until contracts have been exchanged and we’re hoping to have constructive discussion with the county council .

“From a personal point of view, Horncastle already has enough sites, including historic ones, that are in a state of decay and we don’t need another one.

“We just hope the people in the town will make their voices heard.”

Horncastle Town Council will be holding an extraordinary meeting at Stanhope Hall to consider and respond to the application for Horncastle Youth Centre to be listed as an asset of community value, submitted by Councillor Hinkins and the group.

Back in March, town councillors voted overwhelmingly to turn down a request from trustees of the centre for £25,000.

The money would have been used to support a bid to take over the centre.

Lincolnshire County Council says it did not feel that the proposals put forward by HYCWG will make the best use of the public building.

And now, LCC has listed the youth centre for sale with JH Walter, describing the sale as a “development opportunity”, with a guide price of £300,000.

Kevin Kendall, assistant director for corporate property at the county council, said: “This building is not needed by the council and we are aware that the fabric of the building needs considerable investment. .”

Reacting to the news on their Facebook page, a spokesman for the working group said: “We are absolutely appalled that LCC have taken this step, at a time when we are still in open negotiation with them, and without warning.

“It is totally wrong for a community building such as this to be sold for development when it is still needed and wanted for the public.

“We will challenge this strongly and encourage everyone to write to their MP, county, district and town councillors to express your feelings.”

The meeting will commence at 7.15pm, members of the public are welcome.

to attend.