Huge relief after King’s Lynn community centre is sold

The future of a community centre which was under threat of closure is now secure now it has new owners.

Freebridge Community Housing Association has now agreed to buy Lynn’s Providence Street Centre from Norfolk County Council.

The deal ends three years of uncertainty for the groups which meet at the site after the county council announced it was too costly to run.

The centre is used by a social group for the disabled and children’s playgroup.

Providence Street is a stone’s throw from Hillington Square, which is receiving a £30 million revamp from Freebridge, and is hoped to become a social hub for the area.

Freebridge chief executive Tony Hall has thanked the county council.

He said: “We were keen to buy the centre as it is in a fantastic, central location and provides an accessible base for much-needed services, such as childcare and wellbeing services. It also provides space for community groups and charities to meet.

“The Providence Street Centre will provide a social hub which Hillington Square residents can access, during the construction period and beyond.”

The centre has office space, meeting rooms, a sports hall along with a workshop.

Freebridge plans to carry out improvement work to the centre and is holding talks with community groups.

One organisation which has welcomed the sale is Phobbies, a social group for the disabled which holds its weekly meetings at the centre.

Co-ordinator Sylvia Pomeroy OBE said the sale will provide some security.

She said : “It has been a worrying three years. This is a big relief for everyone at the club.”

North Lynn and central county councillor David Collis, said: “When the youth service was closed, following the Big Conversation, there were understandably concerns about the building’s future and I hope that Freebridge’s ownership will go some way to reassuring the local community that the building will continue to serve them well.”

The county’s cabinet member for finance, Steve Morphew said: “We have been working for some time to come up with a solution that benefits the local area and we are grateful to Freebridge for their commitment to the building’s future.”