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By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 22 February 2013 Updated: 22/02 10:04
RESIDENTS could be offered the chance to buy shares in the company trying to takeover Redditch Youth House.
Members of the Redditch Youth and Community Enterprise (RYCE) are currently waiting to have their charity status registered with HM Revenue and Customs.
If their bid to take on the Ipsley Street building when it is sold by Worcestershire County Council is successful, they will be offering residents the chance to invest. In the process it would become the first charity in the country to offer shares to its members.
Nick Comley from Community First, which has been helping the organisation prepare funding bids, told a public meeting on Wednesday (February 20) the choice to become a community benefit society meant RYCE would be able to offer shares rather than relying solely on donations as most charities do.
"Increasingly communities are having to rely on their own resources to preserve amenities and facilities. This is a real and genuine resource that could be lost and once it has gone, it is lost forever," he said.
"There is an opportunity here if the community steps up to the plate and really pulls together we can move that forward and prepare a plan for growth.
"This is a self-help organisation and about the community empowering itself."
RYCE chairman Ray Groves added they were looking to develop a community hub which would be available from 8am to 8pm for any groups which wanted to use the Youth House.
"This building will be owned by the community and run by the community. Members can change what we are doing and we want their feedback to help us get this building in a state where it can pay for itself."
Currently no firm date has been set for the county council to put the building up for sale, although it is hoped if negotiations begin before the end of April the building could be reopened by the end of the year.
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