The future for Stonehouse Creek Community Centre looks bright as a lease of the facility is to be granted to a new operator.
Plymouth City Council invited organisations to submit expressions of interest in running the popular community centre, after the previous operators went into administration and the premises were handed back to the Council by liquidators.
Plymouth Albion Rugby Football Club Limited has been selected as the new operator to run the centre and it is hoped they will be able to reopen in plenty of time for the run-up to Christmas.
Councillor Ian Darcy, Cabinet Member for Finance said: “This is a hugely important community facility not just for Stonehouse but for Plymouth as a whole and its closure has been keenly felt by local residents and the numerous organisations that used the centre.
“I’m really pleased that not only will the facilities once again be available for weddings, parties and other social events, but also ideas for new community uses and proposals will be welcomed for discussion by the new management, with a view to broadening the centres appeal and benefits to the local Stonehouse Community.”
Now that Plymouth Albion has been selected, they will immediately start engaging with local Stonehouse-based community organisations to understand local needs and community groups and organisations who previously used the centre, will be offered the chance to come back.
Bruce Priday, a director of PARFC, said: “Plymouth Albion are very pleased to be managing Stonehouse Creek Community Centre because we will be able to bring back into use a valuable community asset using our strong management and operational skills. Most importantly it will allow Plymouth Albion to increase its community activity for the people in Stonehouse, adding to the extensive programme the Club already runs. The proximity between the two locations will create a high level of activity while retaining very valuable economies of scale. Plymouth Albion looks forward to meeting with Community leaders to discuss all aspects to ensure the centre maximises the objectives behind its existence.”
Councillor Darcy added: “In addition to a sustainable financial model to secure the centre’s long-term future, Albion also importantly outlined a strong community offer including widening its work with local schools, potential to take forward a job club initiative, providing school holiday activities programmes, working with neighbouring City College to improve social outcomes and engaging with local sports clubs and other local organisations.”