Halesowen community centre set to re-open

A DISUSED Halesowen community centre is set to re-open after campaigners won the promise of a £5,000 Dudley Council grant.

A lease to transfer ownership of the Hasbury Sons of Rest building from the local authority hinged on securing funds to refurbish it two years after it was closed.

The building, which was built in 1948 to honour Halesowen’s war dead, was used as a senior citizens’ centre until the council earmarked it for demolition.

But the Hasbury Community Association was formed by campaigners who fought to save it and re-open it for the wider community.

Its chairman, Ian Cooper, told the Belle Vale/Hayley Green and Cradley South Community Forum he had an itemised list of repairs that were needed.

He said: “There have been two years of neglect and problems that have accrued that need sorting out to make it warm, safe and clean.”

The building, near Alexandra Road and Wall Well, has become an eyesore to nearby residents and Belle Vale councillor Jill Nicholls said she supported the grant application.

“It is bringing the community together and safeguarding the historic building which is a wonderful thing,” she said.

Mr Cooper expects the contract will be agreed tomorrow with the commitment of funds to ensure the building will be brought up to the required specification.

He added: “We have people who have offered to paint it. The support is fantastic - it has already done a lot for the community spirit.”

The forum agreed to give the £4,300, which was all that remained in this year’s budget and a further £700 from the 2014/15 budget, which will be rubberstamped at its July meeting.

The community association used Localism Act legislation to halt the sale of the building and the community asset transfer scheme is a new Dudley Council policy.

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