Members agree sale of town site

The former Throston Grange Community Centre.
The former Throston Grange Community Centre.

COUNCILLORS have agreed the sale of a centre to Hartlepool Stage Society but other community groups will benefit from the deal.

Hartlepool Borough Council is to sell the freehold at Throston Grange Community Centre to the stage society at a reduced value but in exchange they will allow other community groups to use the building during the day for free for five years.

That was agreed by the finance and policy committee. The terms of the sale were kept confidential.

It was confirmed at the meeting the free access for other groups would be until 6pm on an evening and there would be no other additional costs towards the likes of lighting or heating.

Throston Grange Community Centre was declared surplus to council requirements in 2011. Hartlepool Stage Society then moved in after making the highest rental bid, with an option to buy it.

Denise Ogden, the council’s director of regeneration and neighbourhoods, said: “The stage society have advised that they are not in a financial position to pay either the agreed initial sum nor the revised independent valuation.

“However, they would be interested in agreeing to a proposal to acquire the freehold at a reduced value and in exchange for the reduced value they are prepared to allow community groups to use the building during the day at nil cost for a period of five years.”

Labour councillor Chris Simmons, who checked there would be no additional costs for other groups during the day, said: “It is important to note the free access for community groups during the day.”