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Future of well-used Fareham community centre thrown into doubt
THE future of a Locks Heath community centre is in doubt after it was revealed it is losing £56,000 a year.
A report about the Lockswood Community Centre says that closure is one of the options being considered by Fareham Borough Council .
The council took over the running of the centre in April from Brookfield School. It has since carried out a review, which says the centre is operating at a deficit of £56,000 per year and that is likely to be the case for the “foreseeable future”.
Costly potential maintenance issues, including a 30-year-old hot water and heating system that would cost £50,000 to replace, are also addressed in the council report.
The centre has a large hall and meeting rooms and is used by a parent and toddler group, pre-school groups, senior citizen’s clubs and for sports activities.
The Lockswood Library also occupies part of the ground floor.
When Fareham Borough Council took over, the report says that Brookfield School indicated the centre had an annual deficit of £25,000, plus other “unknown costs” being absorbed by Hampshire County Council .
Three options are now being considered by Fareham Borough Council to deal with the community centre – including closure, which the report says could happen at the end of March 2013 or March 2014.
The council is also looking at transferring the management of the centre to a new community association. Eight groups have registered an interest.
The final option is for the council to continue running the centre, with opportunities to reduce the centre’s deficit explored, including a review of fees and charges for hiring the facility.
The future of the centre will be decided at a meeting of Fareham Borough Council’s Executive on October 1 at the civic offices.