Crunch for hub

SUPPORTERS of a much used community hub are invited to turn out for a crunch meeting which could decide its future.

People are being urged to attend the annual general meeting of Greatham Community Association when managers are set to decide whether to take over the building’s lease.

Hartlepool Borough Council decided not to renew its lease for the centre when it expired after 20 years last May.

The community centre in Front Street is owned by the Hospital of God charity and its day to day use is managed by Greatham Community Association.

Whoever holds the lease is responsible for the upkeep of the building.

Brian Walker, treasurer of Greatham Community Association, said that if they took on the lease they would need to spend a substantial amount of money to bring the building up to standard.

He said: “It is crunch time now because we are going to have to decide whether to take over the lease if we are going to continue operating the building.

“There’s quite a lot of work that needs doing to bring it up to standard, but it is functional.

“There is concern with the state of the roof and windows that need replacing.”

The centre is used throughout the week by senior citizens’ groups, sports clubs and mother and toddler groups

Despite not renewing the lease, the council pledged to provide two nights of youth work in Greatham a week.

Greatham Community Association is also looking for more people to work as trustees.

Mr Walker said anyone with building experience and applying for grants would be welcome.

He added: “Even if people feel they cannot take on the role of trustee we really could do with then turning out for the meeting if only to show support for keeping the community centre open.”

The AGM takes place at the community centre on Tuesday, May 24, at 6.30pm.