Refurbishment ahead for community centre

Cllrs Mark Cherry, Sean Woodcock and Barry Richards campaigning to get the Hill Youth and Community Centre rebuilt NNL-150222-214505009
Cllrs Mark Cherry, Sean Woodcock and Barry Richards campaigning to get the Hill Youth and Community Centre rebuilt NNL-150222-214505009

A youth and community centre which has been in a state of disrepair is set for regeneration.

The Hill, in the Bretch Hill area of Banbury, has had a leaking roof since November 2013 which has meant the sports hall could not be used.

The Hill offers support to young people in the area and is in the Ruscote ward of Cherwell District Council (CDC).

The issue of The Hill was raised by ward councillors Mark Cherry, Sean Woodcock and Barry Richards at a meeting of CDC’s budget planning committee.

Officers have now drawn up an action plan aimed at regenerating the facility.

The regeneration has been added to the council’s capital plan for 2015/2016 and is estimated to cost £400,000.

Councillor Richards said: “This is long overdue frankly. We are not just talking about a few buckets on the floor catching drops of water. The leak has damaged electrics and exposed asbestos. making it a hazard to users.

“It should have been identified and fixed months ago.”

Councillor Woodcock said: “While these latest developments are welcome, it should never have taken this long and does nothing to improve the council’s image.”

Councillor Mark Cherry said it was hoped the community centre would be demolished and a new one built on the site, but he was unable to go into further detail as to what was planned.

A Cherwell District Council spokesman said: “A project group has been established to seek an optimum solution for the Hill facility, given the outcome of the recent condition survey.

“There will be more information at the beginning of April, with regular updates to the council’s budget working group and local ward members.

“Capital funds have been earmarked as part of the 2015/16 budget approved on Monday.”

The building has been in place since the 1980s and used to be the home of the Willie Freund Boys’ Club.