Burnley Councillors look set to give the green light to negotiations which will see responsibility for several community buildings in the borough transfer to charities and community groups.
A report to next week’s Executive meeting proposes that long leases could be established next year for three buildings: Burnley Wood Community Centre; the Vanguard Centre; and Linkbridge, on Swinless Street.
Two other buildings, Middlesex Avenue and Ennismore Street Community Centres, will be offered initial leases as a preparatory step towards the grant of a full 99 year lease within two years.
Alongside initial negotiations, Burnley Council will consult on a Community Asset Transfer Policy to provide a framework for the transfers.
Councillor Lian Pate, Executive Member for Community Services, said “the council is taking a step-by-step approach here. Our aim is to enable these buildings to remain as community facilities by transferring the assets to organisations which can run them successfully. In times of financial challenge for the council, we simply cannot foresee having the funds to maintain and improve the buildings in future years, and believe that charities and community benefit companies will be better placed than the council to get the grants and financial donations that will enable the buildings to continue operating.
“We will of course continue with the approach of providing support and advice to the charities and groups who are currently users of the buildings. Detailed issues will be worked out through the negotiations that would follow the Executive decision”.