List of community assets grows

Press Release: 20/02/2013

Village scene

The number of successfully registered community facilities in the Winchester district continues to grow. Another two sites in Bishop’s Waltham, as well as the re-nominated Fox and Hounds Public House in Denmead, qualify under the Localism Act’s Community Right to Bid scheme.

The new additions in Bishop’s Waltham are the Youth Hall and NHS Physiotherapy Clinic on Malt Lane. They have been acknowledged for providing youth activities and valued health services, which are unavailable anywhere else in the town.

The Fox and Hounds Public House in Denmead was initially nominated before Christmas, but failed to demonstrate how the village pub was a hub of great social importance whilst it was open. However, the re-nomination included a range of examples, many put forward by local residents themselves, of social events that took place in the pub and brought the community together.

These community assets represent what is most important to local residents in their village, town and city,

said Cllr Stephen Godfrey, Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Finance and Administration.

Recognising that youth centres, surgeries, open spaces, and pubs play significant roles in our day-to-day lives will hopefully bring the community together to raise the funds if these facilities ever fall into risk of closure.

As the Fox and Hounds is currently on the market, Winchester City Council has started the second phase of the Community Right to Bid. This involves a six-week moratorium on the owners, which temporarily stops the owners signing a contract with a private buyer. Denmead Parish Council, along with any other community interest group, can now decide whether to become potential bidders for the public house. Once one group steps forward requesting to bid, the moratorium is extended to six months. This extra time allows the community to raise the required capital for their bid.

Eligible community groups can apply for grants from the Social Investment Bureau to assist their plans to take on asset ownership and management.