Do you want to safeguard your local community facility?
Press Release: 22/10/2012
Winchester City Council is welcoming nominations for the community facilities that are most important to communities in the Winchester district. This could be anything from your local village shop to the children’s nursery, your historic church or popular football ground. Whatever the facility, it needs to be a unique hub that plays a central role in community engagement and social wellbeing.
The nominations that are successful will be officially listed by Winchester City Council on behalf of the community. The key advantage of being listed is that community groups will be notified if the property ever comes up for sale and, as a result, may be in danger of closing down.
Cllr Stephen Godfrey, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Administration, commented; “The Community Right to Bid gives communities the opportunity, and more importantly, the time to raise funds and bid to take over the facility themselves. By having time to prepare, the community can enter a level playing field when bidding alongside private buyers.”
The scheme was brought in as part of the Localism Act and is designed to help communities take more control. This has already happened in places like rural Cumbria, when the community was faced with the closure of their local pub. The community rallied together to persuade the owner they could raise £67,000 in two weeks. They succeeded in securing a 15 year lease and renovated the pub in four weeks to be ready for the tourist season.
The scheme enables communities to build on initiatives such as a parish plan, in which they might have identified key facilities or services that are under threat.
If you are considering nominating a community facility you will need be a member of one of the following; a Parish Council, a Neighbourhood Forum, an unincorporated body, a company limited by guarantee, a charity, an industrial and provident society, a community interest company, or have your local Parish Council represent your nomination.
Visit www.winchester.gov.uk/community/community-right-bid/ for further information or contact Antonia Perkins 01962 848 314 for an informal discussion.