Halesworth building is declared an asset of community value

Halesworth Day Centre, London Road.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Halesworth Day Centre, London Road.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A bid to protect the future of the London Road offices in Halesworth has taken a big step forward after an application to make it an asset of community value has been accepted.

The London Road building is home to groups including the Halesworth Day Centre, the Volunteer Centre, the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Open Door Carer Support Group and also provides activities for older people.

The town council is based in the building and holds its meetings in there. A council working group was formed to lodge a formal application for the building to become an asset of community value.

Now this has been accepted by Waveney District Council (WDC), which is the current owner of the building, Halesworth Town Council has six months to work out a business plan detailing how it could run the building. During this period, no other organisations can bid on it

Councillor Peter Dutton said: “Now, what we’re trying to do is put together a business plan that will mean we will be able to run the building, retaining its use as a community asset and widening the scope of the facilities for the town.”

Mr Dutton said the council would look at various ways of finding the money to run the building, avoiding any major costs falling on the town’s residents, although centre users might be asked to contribute. Surveys are being done to assess the state of the building and how much work needs to be done to bring it up to modern standards.

“Negotiations will start with WDC as soon as we have put our business plan together,” said Mr Dutton.

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“Having the bid registered as a community asset is good news, it’s a definite lift for us.”

The centre was home to Waveney District Council’s customer service office which was closed in March potentially leaving the future of the building uncertain.