Bath Place Community Venture thrown lifeline over plans to build new centre

Computer Generated Image of what  Bath Place Community Venture new-looksite would look like. NNL-140328-115434001
Computer Generated Image of what Bath Place Community Venture new-looksite would look like. NNL-140328-115434001

Bath Place Community Venture has been thrown a lifeline in its plans to open a new community centre on its former site in Old Town.

In May, the venture’s managers and supporters were left disappointed as Warwickshire County Council’s cabinet members voted to support a different scheme for All Saints Primary School, which was gutted by fire in 2009.

But at a recent ‘extraordinary’ council meeting called by the authority’s overview and scrutiny committee the decision was sent back to the cabinet for reconsideration along with a number of requests, including a review of the community asset transfer protocol.

Clayton Denwood, Bath Place’s operations manager, said: “It is definitely a lifeline from a democratic and local perspective.

“It shows that members and our respective ward councillors are backing us up.”

Bath Place’s board, staff, members and partners are encouraged by the development with Mr Denwood praising county councillors Bill Gifford, Matt Western and Jenny St John for their support and Warwick and Leamington MP Chris White for his advice and encouragement.

A new, and most likely final, decision is expected when the cabinet next meets on Tuesday July 22. Mr Denwood said: “We will be working closely with our partners and councillors to ensure that the details of the proposals and strength of local support for the project will be recognised and taken on board by members of the cabinet.

“Bath Pace has spent the best part of 18 months working on this redevelopment project and we are hopeful that cabinet members will recognise the value and importance that the project holds for local people and organisations and that it will support our efforts to provide a self-sustaining community resource for all, regardless of social or cultural background.”

The community venture revealed its plans for the new centre in February.

These include an architectural design brief, a detailed business plan, with financial forecasts and funding strategy, and a social return on investment report - which calculates a return value of £4 million - and a survey which indicates overwhelming support for the project .