AFTER almost half a century Padgate Youth and Community Association has been given notice to quit their council-owned community centre premises after failing to agree on financial terms moving forward.
As a result, Warrington Borough Council will be taking back the day-to-day running of the centre from September 1st, while the charity group who have been managing the premises consider their future.
In the meantime, a cash balance which was to promote the community centre will be made available to local community groups by application, in the near future.
The Community Association took to social media to make the announcement stating: “Sadly after 48+ years, PYCA have been unable to agree financial terms with WBC to enable a lease to be signed so as to be able to continue running the centre, consequently PYCA have been given notice to quit the building from the end of 31st August.
This decision is following a meeting this week with WBC where discussions centred on them recouping their direct costs allocated to the building. These costs appear to be in excess of £50,000 PA – that is without taking into account any further hikes in the price of electricity and gas.
For the year to 31st March 2022 PYCA total income was less than £25000 so you can see the size of the deficit and why PYCA can’t take on liabilities of this magnitude.
This means that from the 1st of September the centre will be run by WBC.
“The charity (PYCA) may continue to operate going forward, either from the community centre or alternative premises in arranging functions and events to promote the wellbeing of the local community.
“The charity has a cash balance that was specifically to promote the community centre, and as this balance can no longer be applied for this purpose we will welcome applications from user groups or local organisations for grant aid. An application form will be posted soon.
“As a final farewell, we will be holding a leaving party over the August weekend, more details to follow.
“We would like to thank you for using the centre over the years and wish you well for the future.”
Following the announcement Centre Manager Jane Henshaw said: “I have had the honour of being the Centre Manager at Padgate Youth and Community Centre for the last 7 years.
“I have met so many wonderful people, made new friendships and been part of some amazing celebrations.
“As the manager, I was able to provide the local community and beyond a place to enjoy family activities, arts & crafts, play days, and many many other events at very low cost or free.
“The last few years have been so hard on families and due to the current increase in food, petrol and everyday essentials, our activities and events are essential for many families well-being.
“We have our final Summer Festival on Sat 27th Aug 12-5pm.
“Please come and enjoy an afternoon of games, activities, music, refreshments and much more. And of course, it is free!”
A Warrington Borough Council spokesperson said: “Padgate Community Centre is a council-owned building. Padgate Youth and Community Association (PYCA) has been responsible for managing the day-to-day running of the centre.
“We have been in regular dialogue with the committee regarding a long-term lease which would outline the legal responsibilities around centre management. Unfortunately, after continued negotiations, we have been unable to reach an agreement. As a result, from 1 September, we will be taking back responsibility for the day-to-day running of the centre.
“We would like to thank PYCA for their support in the management of the centre over the years. We would also like to reassure residents, and the community groups who use the centre, that we will work with them to provide an appropriate programme of activities and events for people of all ages to participate in.”