‘The town deserves it’ - ‘Exciting’ bid goes in to reclaim community hub
PUBLISHED: 14:06 03 November 2020 | UPDATED: 14:06 03 November 2020
An historic seaside hub could be reclaimed for the “benefit of the community” after it went up for sale for £150,000.
The Priory Centre in Great Yarmouth has a special place in the hearts of the borough’s residents and, according to Labour councillor Jade Martin, its closure in 2019 left community groups “homeless”.
She said: “So many groups called the centre their home, and it was a real hub of empowerment for local people. At £150,000, the place is a steal.”
Great Yarmouth’s Community Land Trust - known informally as Yarmouth Roads - is hoping to make an offer for the centre and turn it into an “Asset of Community Value”.
If the application to the borough council is successful, the Priory will be held “in perpetuity” - which means owned by the community and used exclusively for community use, forever.
Helen Lynch, Yarmouth Roads’ secretary, said: “Our CLT started last year, and we’ve been looking for a project ever since. Our reason for being is to provide affordable housing and community spaces in the area. The Priory Centre fits the bill perfectly.
“The pressure is on us at the moment, and our bid is in the hands of administrators.
“There’s lots of emails firing off, and a lot of applications going in for grant funding to help make this a reality.”
She added: “It’s about getting the council on side.
“We’re now registered as an interested party, which is exciting, but stressful at the same time.
“We need the public on board. We have a Just Giving page people can donate to, and residents can email the council with their own memories of the Priory Centre to help make the case for designating the building as an asset of community value.”
Ms Martin said: “We did it with Pops’ Meadow, and we can do it with this too.
“Gorleston is so privileged to have the Shrublands Centre - but Great Yarmouth, which has already been decimated by austerity, is crying out for a space they can turn to for help. The town deserves its own space - and the Priory Centre is it.”
Local historian Michael Boon said: “Heritage is something you cannot get back once it’s gone. There are 900 years of history there, and Yarmouth has to look after what its got.”
Email email@example.com about what the Priory Centre means to you, and donate at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/saveourpriorycentre
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