The latest vandalism to Ruddington’s former Young People’s Centre on The Green seems to have finally prompted some action from Nottinghamshire County Council – which owns the disused premises.
The building has been empty since December 2016 when “The Body Centre” ran into financial difficulties and was forced to close. Previously it had been Ruddington’s dedicated Youth and Community Centre but was leased out by the County Council to fitness firm Project Body UK in 2014 (for a planned ten year period) due to government spending cuts. In summer 2016 the conditional youth provision was reintroduced there for three days per week – and several community organisations and groups were again using the facilities on a weekly basis. But since the company’s closure the building has lain dark and disused and was vandalised in June last year. The premises were repaired and repainted only to be broken into and trashed again earlier this month – with the intruders throwing around the spare paint that had been left in there from the previous redecoration!
The latest attack has led the County Council to completely board up the building – causing outrage amongst villagers and community groups who’ve been campaigning for almost a year to get it back into use. Ruddington Parish Council has long been interested in taking over the building. Then, last summer, we reported how a group of local residents had come together to propose leasing the site as a community hub called ‘The Green Space’ if the County Council would just put it back out to tender. They even had a dedicated ‘Green Space’ stall at the 2017 Ruddington Summer Fayre which received strong local support. However the group have since complained the County Council wouldn’t even talk to them about it!
Now Nottinghamshire County Council has released a statement on Twitter which reads: “After the recent damage to the centre the building has been secured and boarded up. Some further inspections are taking place following the vandalism, but if the outcome of these is satisfactory we are intending to negotiate with the Parish Council to purchase the property.”
In response, Ian Wilson – one of those behind The Green Space – told RUDDINGTON.info: “We are pleased that the County Council have finally shared their plans if we go by their twitter account. We are very disappointed they won’t engage with us but pleased they are doing something. We would hope to work with the Parish Council. Hopefully, whatever the result, it will encourage people into the village centre.”
Ruddington Parish Council Chairman Allen Wood says RPC is delighted that the County Council is willing to discuss the sale of the site: “The Parish Council has for many years been searching for a central location to provide facilities for the community for the future. The Clerk has contacted the County Council and is in the process of arranging a meeting to discuss this exciting opportunity.”
Please keep checking RUDDINGTON.info for further developments!