By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 01 November 2013 Updated: 01/11 07:35
THE SALE of the former Redi Centre has been put on hold after a community group expressed interested in taking it on.
The Redditch Youth and Community Enterprise (RYCE) has applied to list the South Street building, which was closed in 2010, as an asset of community value. It will give them six weeks to notify Redditch Borough Council of their intentions and prevent the building being sold for six months to enable them to put a bid together.
It comes after the group had their bid for the Youth House turned down by Worcestershire County Council earlier this year, which had forced them to turn their attention to other empty buildings as well as putting in a new bid for Youth House in October.
RYCE chairman Ray Groves said the group had initially considered taking on the Redi Centre in the next three to five years but had brought that forward due to the refusal of the Youth House bid.
“We are concerned with the bad weather coming we need somewhere for the community to use. We can’t just sit idly by and wait for Worcestershire County Council to come to a conclusion.
“The Youth House is a fairly easy business proposition because of the sports hall, the Redi Centre is not quite that so we need a properly-constructed business plan to ensure that it can be viable.
“We would like to use a six-month lease, hopefully in co-operation with the borough council, so we can look at what is the best use for the building and at the same time people can use it and get to know the building.”
Rebecca Blake, Labour Parliamentary spokeswoman for Redditch, said: “Worcestershire County Council treated Redditch badly when they closed the Youth House and then knocked back the community bids to purchase it.
“Labour inherited a boarded-up Redi Centre and it’s a crime that it was closed to simply stand empty these past years. I would love to see the centre back in use and it is good news that RYCE are interested in purchasing it, they continue to have my full backing.”
A county council spokesman said the deadline for bids on the Youth House was yesterday (October 31) and they anticipated being able to select a successful bidder by the middle of November.
Alternatively, the property could be remarketed for a period of time.
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