THE FUTURE of the Greig Centre in Alcester has been secured.
Stratford District Council this week agreed to take over ownership of the Hannah Susan Greig Memorial Hall and sports complex – saving it from the threat of going into administration.
Coun Mike Gittus, who was among those who spearheaded the ‘Save The Grieg’ campaign was delighted at the news.
He said: “It marks the beginning of a fantastic new era for Alcester and the residents of the Stratford district.
“The driving force to keep the Memorial Hall standing was always the 1400 plus people who petitioned for its retention. During this time I knew that the principle could only become reality if the bulldozers were kept at bay.”
The Grieg Centre’s financial problems have been ongoing for several years and resulted in the closure of the Greig Hall in 2011, with just the sports hall and the squash courts remaining opening.
The district council invested £800,000 into modernising the sports facilities in the Lifestyles building in 2005 and has been pumping in £4,000 a month in emergency funding.
The Unitary Bank also previously contributed a loan of £180,000 and Alcester Town Council gave £150,000.
The Greig Hall was also targeted by developers and plans put forward to build houses on the site in 2010 were rejected by the district council.
This week’s move will see the district council working closely with the Greig Trustees to ensure a viable future for the centre, while also looking in the longer term at the re-opening of the Greig Hall.
District council spokeswoman Lynda Organ said: “This has been a long process and officers at the district council have been working with the Greig Trustees over recent months to try and find a way to resolve the difficult situation that exists around the Greig Hall and the Lifestyles building.
“The district council recognises the value and importance of the Greig Centre in the community and as such will be looking to undertake the transfer of the ownership of the whole site to the District Council in order to secure its future and preserve on-going leisure provision in the area.”
The Greig Centre site incorporates a number of buildings including:
The Greig Hall – a main hall/bar including a stage and two further function rooms with bar/kitchen facilities.
The Lifestyles building – currently open and comprising a sports hall (four badminton court size), 49 station gym, dance studio, treatment/physiotherapy room.
Squash courts – two courts which while open need a revamp.
Army Cadets Hut- the hut is owned by the cadets with the site leased to the cadets.
Parking – there are 47 parking bays, with capacity for additional parking by the side of the Greig Hall.