A SOCIAL CENTRE is set to remain in South Elmsall after Wakefield Council agreed to rent out the £80,000 building rather than selling it.
Cabinet members decided on Tuesday that Westfield Resource and Enterprise Centre, on Westfield Lane, will continue to be a hub for the community as South Elmsall Town Council will take over the building for a 25-year period.
South Elmsall town councillor Bob Hayhurst said he has been involved with the centre since it opened in 1984 and was glad it was going to remain.
He said: “There are so many opportunities for the building and the town council are discussing different options for it. It would have been a shame if it had been sold, but this way we get to keep it in the community for locals to use as they wish.”
There were concerns over the speed of transfer as cabinet members wanted to ensure a quick move over to the town council.
Cabinet member for environment and communities councillor Maureen Cummings said: “It is an exciting initiative, but South Elmsall said they could take the building over from next April, which is a worry because it will see the property closed and open to vandalism, which is a cost to the council.
“Can we speak to the Town Council and let them use it rent free until it’s taken over on a long lease? Then the building wouldn’t be empty and it would save us money because we wouldn’t have to board it up and protect it.”
Chief executive of Wakefield Council Joanne Roney said negotiations could be entered into pending the transfer.
The centre previously ran adult education courses but closed earlier this year due to finances. Future sessions will be held at various centres in the area.