Campaigner’s joy as community centres are given more time to survive

Bushmead Community Centre

Bushmead Community Centre

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A campaigner has revealed her delight after two community centres threatened with closure were handed a temporary reprieve.

On Monday night Luton Borough Council’s executive committee agreed to keep community centres in Bushmead and Raynham Way open until March 31, 2017, allowing campaigners time to prepare to take over their running.

Last month Luton Culture told LBC that it could no longer afford to run the centres, after it found its donations from the airport would be slashed by £1 million over the next two years.

As a result of the executive’s decision campaigners now have 12 months to bring forward “credible and viable” business plans to take over the running of the two centres.

Though councillors have agreed to a stay of execution for Bushmead and Raynham Way, the futures of community centres in Limbury, Park Town and Marsh Farm remain uncertain.

Kathryn Knights, who has spearheaded a campaign to save Bushmead Community Centre, told the Herald & Post: “We are really happy with the result, we had been given an indication that there would be a positive outcome.

“It’s a victory for us but there is still a long journey ahead, getting ideas and people together to establish what this alternative running model could look like.

“Our plan is to increase our steering group of four people and work through the detail of it.”

Kathryn added that at present the gap between the outgoings and income for Bushmead Community Centre are at around £30,000 a year.

> If you would like to help the Bushmead campaign contact Kathryn Knights by emailing everythingbushmead@outlook.com