A PENDLE housing estate’s community centre which has been shut for nearly two years could reopen in 2022, following talks with residents, councillors and a housing association.

But its management and funding systems could change, with perhaps £15,000 needed to cover its annual running costs and local volunteers helping to run it, borough councillors have been told.

The Northolme community centre in Earby has been closed during the Covid pandemic but a number of residents and councillors are keen to see the building brought back to use, a new report for Pendle Borough Council’s West Craven Area Committee said.

Councillors on the committee are due to discuss some possible options at their next meeting on Tuesday, January 4. A report for the meeting includes an update on recent talks held online in December between a number of borough councillors and Together Housing officers.

The meeting included Conservative Coun Rosemary Carroll and Lib-Dem Couns David Whipp and Marjorie Adams, who are all on the West Craven Committee.

It states that Coun Whipp had brought the community centre issue to West Craven Committee following approaches from residents on the Northolme estate who want to see it brought back as a community centre. Some of the suggested uses mentioned had been a children’s day centre, youth services or  general use for people of all ages.

A housing officer, Janet Fishwick-Mahon, said that the community centre had not been used for several years. It was currently being used for storage. She explained that the Together Housing Group was currently undertaking a review of all the community centres it owned, which were all closed due to the Covid pandemic. Northolme Community Centre would be part of this review. The review had been ongoing for several months and was likely to conclude in March 2022.

Together Housing was also looking at how to engage with their customers in a safe, effective way, the report added. Options included having temporary ‘pop-up ‘events if there was no community centre and looking at when on-line and physical, face-to-face meetings might be held.

Ms Fishwick-Mahon said said Together Housing had not been approached by any tenants about using the community centre, the reports adds. Together Housing could certainly consider the idea but would need more detail of the groups and someone who would be willing to take on its management.

The more interest there is from different groups, the better, the report states. The annual running costs for the centre were estimated to be around £15,000, according to the report.

Ms Fishwick-Mahon said that there was the possibility of linking in with their charity, Newground Together, with potential funding or grant opportunities for residents’ groups and local projects.

It was agreed to discuss the talks at the next West Craven Committee meeting and that Mrs Fishwick-Mahon would provide the number of tenancies Together Housing has on the Northolme estate. She would also speak to Caroline Grosvenor, who is leading the review of community centres.

Coun Whipp is seeing what level of interest there is in the area for using the centre and also in helping to run the centre.

Newground Together is a charity linked to Together Housing which runs a number of community hubs with facilities in Blackburn and Burnley. These include a hub at Blackburn’s Shadsworth estate and a walled garden at Towneley Park in Burnley.

Pendle’s West Craven Area Committee will discuss the updates at its next meeting in the Rainhall Centre, Barnoldswick, at 6.45pm on Tuesday, January 4.