OWNERSHIP of the Greig Hall in Alcester has been offered to Stratford District Council (SDC) – on the proviso it waives £800,000 in charges.
A long-running dispute between the Greig trustees and SDC is set to continue in court later this month to decide who will run the centre, which closed eight years ago after proving ‘financially unviable’.
But ahead of this the trustees have claimed ‘enough is enough’ and say they are prepared to hand over the centre.
They say as the Greig Trust is a charity they cannot give the building away, and are calling for the council to cancel the £800,000 charge – which arose due to a payment given by the authority in 2013 to provide leisure and recreational facilities.
But the council said it would not accept the trustees’ offer and they were simply attempting to ‘block progress’.
Charity chairman Ross Greig said: “Local people want a solution.
“The last few years have been challenging for the charity, so hopefully everyone can now benefit and we can all look forward to a brighter future, especially for local people.”
But SDC says the issue has been discussed for numerous years.
A spokeswoman said: “This is nothing new and this has been discussed many times before.
“The district council has already spent a number of years negotiating multiple options with the trustees. The district council has committed to invest £500,000 in the sports hall facility and hopes the trustees will now see sense, bearing in mind they owe the council £800,000.
“The trustees should stop trying to block progress towards a sensible solution so that the council can move forward with its ambitious plans for the benefit of Alcester residents.”
The centre was a gift made to residents by businessman and philanthropist David Grieg in memory of his late wife Hannah Susan Greig.
In recent years residents have called for it to reopen, launching a petition calling for the trustees to hand the building over for community use and even opening a charity shop to raise funds towards any future work.