REPOSSESSION of a community hub in Stalybridge does not mean those running it are struggling, they insist.
Notices were plastered all over the building on Grosvenor Street after the landlords decided to ‘peacefully re-enter and take back possession.’
But Active Tameside, which has run the facility from there in association with several services and the involvement of Steven Barton BEM, delivered a ‘business as usual’ message.
They also say new plans will be made clear in the near future.
About the circumstances surrounding the repossession, they said: “We were aware that the landlord wanted to increase the yearly rental and we then actively looked at different models for the local area that would maximise the services and delivery and this is something we have done and will roll out in the coming weeks.”
And Shaun Higgins, director of health and social outcomes, added: “The Hub will continue has we will be working in partnership with Academy HQ, which is in the same locality and also delivering similar wellbeing service.
“This way we maximise impact and in the present climate save on expenditure.”
He also told hub users: “There will be no difference to present delivery model including times or dates and will potentially open more opportunity including additional days and weekends and times and user groups as the building is more accessible.”
Sight of the notices raised fears surrounding the future of Active Tameside, which runs centres and swimming pools across the borough.
However, according to Mr Higgins, this is not a sign of something bigger, adding to The Correspondent: “It’s simply a case of maximising resources for the local area and pooling these resources rather than duplication, which I’m sure in the present climate make both business sense and social responsibility even more sense.”
The hub was opened last April by Tameside councillor Eleanor Wills, who said at the time: “We’ve got to start looking at accessing our communities with health, as well as prevention services and support services.
“This is a great asset. A vehicle that enables people to access that support and these services on their doorstep. We’re looking at having neighbourhood hubs like this where people who need additional support can go.”
However, despite the apparent involvement, Active Tameside through Mr Higgins insisted: “No councillors have been directly involved in any way with the hub during concept, design and implementation at the start of the delivery to what is currently the delivery model on site.”
Meanwhile, Active Tameside is seeking a new chair after Denton councillor Denise Ward stepped down.
However, they insisted there is nothing sinister behind the decision, stating simply: “Cllr Denise Ward is no longer chair of active Tameside due to other commitments.”
The Correspondent has made attempts to contact lawyers representing the landlords, Rayglow Securities Limited, who are based in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset.