Change likely for changing rooms

CHANGING rooms at a Mossley playing field are likely to change into a café and community hub in a project costing about £70,000.

Works 4U have been named as the preferred bidder to take on the structure at Egmont Street after other interest fell by the wayside.

And Mossley Town Council has confirmed the group’s intentions of what they want to do with them.

A report for its latest meeting states: “Our team has met with and explored the W4U expression and they have confirmed their commitment to the project, including local connection to community groups, including, ‘stakeholders.’

Egmonst Street Pavillion

“Space for activities for a range of activities, a long-term interest in the whole site, the importance of the ‘Friends of Egmont Street.’

“Working with partner businesses and developing relationships, recruitment of local volunteers for community support.

“And, really importantly, creating a cafe and meeting place, in effect a community hub. Works4U expect their investment in the site to be in the order of £60-70,000 or more.”

Tameside Council adopted an asset transfer policy and listed the changing rooms for disposal last summer.

And after seeking expressions of interest, five initially put themselves forward, including someone who saw the building as a community hub and cafe, with other partners taking part.

A local youth football organisation, a new company from Hyde specialising in film making, but with community outreach ambitions and a building company also made representations.

However, they were soon ruled out, along with two others that made their interest clear towards the end of last year.That left Works4U and they are likely to be handed the changing rooms, although the others have indicated a possible interest in becoming future partners.

And the Mossley Town Council report – for their meeting on Wednesday, February 23 – adds: “Tameside and the Town Council agree what is needed – competence, capacity to deliver, access to funding and a demonstrable community benefit outlook.

“In considering a “community” based expression, it is understood by both councils that it will be a lengthy and uncertain process to develop an organisation, bring forward a plan, raise funds.

“This is not a “community group”, but an organisation whose ethos is embedded in community. They are accountable.

“They work with young people but have a real track record of making space for other groups, encouraging inclusion, befriending and are especially keen to see children and families around and engaged.”

Egmont Street’s changing rooms have stood empty for some time and were boarded up by Tameside Council following vandalism and for safety reasons.

And this proposal should help save what could become a key part of the area.

Mossley Town Council continued: “The way that sports teams use playing fields has changed. In addition, the costs of maintenance and management has become more of a burden for local authorities, especially as resources have reduced over the last decade.

“Over time there were increased concerns about the future of the building, with Tameside faced with a potentially deteriorating building and ultimately, its demolition.

“The building is a key asset in attracting the community to the site, enhancing the use of the site as a whole and looking forward to improvements.

“Its loss would be detrimental to that ambition and would be an opportunity missed. A cafe especially would be a real attraction to the site and provide a good family facility as well as supporting the sports use.”

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