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Bourne End Day Centre looks set to be saved
BOURNE End Day Centre looks set to be saved from closure after council officers proposed to hand it over to a community group.
Officers at Buckinghamshire County Council have recommended The Friends of Bourne End Centre should be offered a ten-year lease of the Wakeman Road facility at a peppercorn rent.
Cabinet members will consider the proposal on Monday.
Officers preferred The Friends bid to run the centre to that of a rival group, called Tardis SOS, saying the former would make use of a proven and established third party provider and be "more affordable to users".
The Friends group wants to bring in care provider Fremantle Trust to run the centre, whereas Tardis SOS said it would retain the current Red Cross staff and employ them directly.
The council appears to have compromised on the lease offer - as the groups were previously told they would have to buy the building after just two years.
Officers now say The Friends should be given the option to buy the centre at ‘community use value’ after ten years, with a significant reduction expected on the commercial value of £500,000.
The day centre has been threatened with closure since 2010 when the council announced plans to withdraw funding from the facility, along with about 20 others in the county.
This caused outrage in Bourne End, as villagers had raised £45,000 in the 1980s to help build the centre.