‘SIGNIFICANT’ progress has been made in Stratford District Council’s bid to take over The Greig Centre in Alcester.
The Greig Centre’s financial problems have been ongoing for several years and this resulted in the closure of the Hannah Susan Greig Memorial Hall in 2011 to keep the Lifestyles Building and squash courts open.
A previous attempt to sell the hall to build 31 homes and use the funds to redevelop the neighbouring sports centre also collapsed after planning permission was refused.
The hall itself was then registered as a community asset, which gave resident groups and organisations the opportunity to own the property.
And this time last year Stratford District Council agreed to take ownership of the hall and sports complex – saving it from the threat of administration.
It meant as well as running the leisure centre, the hall would be owned by the district council – a role Alcester Town Council was hoping to take over in the future.
Delays have so far meant the ownership is yet to be officially transferred and in December councillor Lynda Organ warned the Greig Trust – which owns The Greig Centre – could be forced into liquidation if members did not hand over its assets within three months.
But this week Coun Organ confirmed everything was being done to move things forward and the council was hoping to avoid the liquidation route.
She told The Observer: “Stratford District Council is committed to providing a quality leisure facility for the residents of Alcester and allowing Alcester Town Council the opportunity to re-open the memorial hall.
“We are seeking to gain agreement from the Charities Commission to allow the transfer and once this has been secured, the facility can be transferred.
“Transferring assets held as part of a Charitable Trust is legally quite complicated and the process has taken longer than we initially anticipated.
“However significant progress has been made and the Greig Trustees are due to make a submission to the Charities Commission requesting consent to transfer the asset.
“I am confident we are clearing all the obstacles and, once the required public consultation has been completed, and subject to the trustees’ final agreement, we should soon be in position to complete the transfer and residents should start to see some changes on the site.”