New Town Council agrees lease for the Youth Centre
Now that Wiltshire Council have no use for Marlborough's Youth Centre - after, that is, it becomes a General Election polling station on June 8 - the new Town Council agreed at its first full meeting (May 22) to sign a lease on the building.
The lease from Wiltshire Council will be for a peppercorn rent and the idea is that eventually Wiltshire Council will transfer the building to the town council for good under its Capital Asset Transfer scheme - which is currently in abeyance.
From June 9 the building will become a community centre - though it needs a great deal of renovation work - both interior and exterior - as it has not been properly maintained over the past few years.
The council intend to change the layout of the rooms to make it easier to use. And two of the problems with the lease as it was proposed by Wiltshire Council were that at the end of the lease the town council would have to return the building to its current layout and that any changes would have to be completed within six months.
The town council have successfully got rid of the reinstatement clause and extended the time limit for work to be completed from six to twelve months.
The Town Mayor, Councillor Mervyn Hall, made the point that while Wiltshire Council had paid for 'campus' and 'hub' centres in many Wiltshire towns, this building could become Marlborough's own community centre. As one councillor told marlborough.news after the meeting: "This will be a home-grown community centre and most probably run better than costly campuses."
Councillor Nick Fogg described the temporary leasing of the youth centre as a "very satisfactory outcome": "It's very popular in the community."
The town council has set up a working party to undertake the refurbishment of the building and to plan how the centre can best be used - with groups helping to pay for its running costs and upkeep. Its members are Councillors Mervyn Hall, Lisa Farrell, Andy Ross, Peter Cairns, Susie Price and Andy Wilson.