Closed community centre on brink of rescue

A rescue package to reopen a community centre that closed in the summer is on the brink of being approved.

Garston Urban Village Hall (GUVH) shut in June after its operating company went into liquidation, ending an 18 year run of providing recreation, leisure, charitable and social welfare services.

Now a report to Liverpool City Council’s cabinet is recommending that South Liverpool Homes take over the hall with the aim of setting up a new Community Interest Company.

It is proposed that the city council enter into negotiation to grant a 30 year lease for the hall at a peppercorn rent.

Councillor Ann O’Byrne, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, said:Garston Urban Village Hall is a vital community hub and its closure in the summer has left a huge hole.

“A lot of discussions have been going on behind the scenes between myself and ward councillors to come up with a rescue package that involves a respected and reputable operator, like South Liverpool Homes.

“I’m delighted they have expressed an interest and by giving them the security of a 30 year lease it provides a solid platform for them to give the community a much needed resource for future generations to benefit from.

“I also know they have some very exciting ideas that will give the hall a new lease of life and we look forward to help support and develop them.”

Claire Ryan, Director of Business Assurance at South Liverpool Homes, said: “Our mission is to make South Liverpool the place to be. To achieve this we are helping to transform South Liverpool through major investment, pioneering partnerships and by placing the community at the heart of everything we do. GUVH represents an iconic part of Garston that we are keen to resurrect and ensure it once again becomes the heart of the community. Our priority now is to work with the local community to identify their vision for the community hub.”

Liverpool City Council’s cabinet will meet to discuss the proposal on Friday, 15 December.

Following approval terms of the lease will be set out and will be expected to be signed in early January.

Gaston Urban Village Hall would then be expected to reopen in Spring 2018. It was originally opened in 1999 after a £1.5m Millennium Fund grant.

Liverpool Waterfront