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By Ian Dipple Thursday 16 January 2014 Updated: 20/01 12:46
A FORMER training centre could be turned into a community hub under a deal approved by councillors.
Redditch Youth and Community Enterprise (RYCE) has been given permission to take on the running of the Redi Centre in South Street for up to six months on a temporary lease.
The group, which lost out in its bid to buy Redditch Youth House, plans to use the opportunity to test whether or not its plan for the building is viable.
It will take Redditch Borough Council about two weeks to sort out the details of the lease before RYCE can begin running activities out of the centre, following approval from councillors on the decision-making executive committee on Tuesday (January 14).
The plan is to work with BARN (Bromsgrove and Redditch Network) to provide a space for a variety of community organisations across the borough, as well as incorporate most of the facilities and activities that were provided out of the neighbouring Youth House prior to its closure.
The Redi Centre was put up for sale last September and has been costing the council about £14,000 a year to mothball following its closure in 2010.
Despite the lease deal, the building remains on the market but it is expected RYCE will eventually buy it.
Greg Chance, who represents Central Ward which the centre is based in, said rather than just selling buildings off to the highest bidder as the county council had done with the youth house, they were helping a group make the most of a community asset but at no cost to the borough council.
"This will also address the lack of facilities in Central Ward which we are losing rather than gaining," he said.
Ray Groves, chairman of RYCE, told the Standard: "The cost of the lease and the cost of utilities and things like that still need to be resolved but this is the beginning of something, that hopefully will end in RYCE purchasing the building."
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