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Proposal for the reuse of the former changing rooms at King George V Playing Fields, Egmont Street, Mossley.

Overview

Mossley Town Council has agreed in principle with Tameside MBC that this building can be transferred to a use providing benefit to the community.

The premise is that it should be managed to also enhance activities in the wider area of the playing fields at Egmont Street.

Mossley Town Council has resolved that they will support the development of facilities at the playing fields and specifically the reuse of the changing rooms.

 

Current situation.

The rooms are boarded up and have been subject to some vandalism in the past. Interior inspection reveals that there are fairly sound areas and externally it is watertight and in good condition structurally. The above would have to be confirmed by a proper survey. Internally there is reason to believe that the heating may be out of date and that services will need examination.

The building is owned by Tameside MBC, who are prepared to pass it (and any area and access close to, by agreement), to a community group or other organisation, supported by the Town Council in the interests of the community. This will require a legal agreement and conditions. The tenure may be by lease or by asset transfer (or one leading to the other). The terms will reflect the joint desire to find a new use.

Vision

The Council has no fixed ideas as to how this should be used, although a community café as a hub has been suggested to support the “community” of users and attract residents and visitors alike.

The use as changing rooms may well be an option, though sports users may not see this as essential these days. It may be that supporting activities could be based here, training events and seminars, plus use by the community for crèche or meeting rooms.

Extensions to the building of a temporary or permanent nature are not ruled out.

King George playing fields currently supports football and children’s play, plus the “Friends of Egmont Street” community garden. Other sporting uses may be viable and the site has been used for events in the past. There is also a relationship to the River Tame and the Huddersfield Canal, plus the wooded area to the south.

The Council considers that the site needs to be seen in the medium to long term as having further potential, to encourage use, but also to protect the natural environment within its hinterland.

Community stewardship.

Mossley Town Council, in partnership with Tameside MBC are seeking expressions of interest from existing or a new community groups or organisations who can deliver an element of community benefit in taking over the former changing rooms.

Interested parties should;

  • Have either experience as a group, or if new, be able to demonstrate they have the capability and capacity to manage their proposal.
  • Have a vision which can be shared with and support the aspirations of the community.
  • Demonstrate sustainability as an enterprise.
  • Create or have in place, a structure which is accountable and has legal status and probity.
  • Provide a feasibility study and costed business plan to Mossley Town Council and Tameside MBC., plus obtain any building or planning permissions required.
  • Confirm in writing that they are prepared to work in partnership with the respective councils to build the use and enjoyment of the playing fields and hinterland for overall community benefit.
  • Have a clear view to how they may secure and use additional funding to progress and complete the approved project.

Supporting funding.

Mossley Town Council has resolved to provide up to £10,000, to support the creation of this facility. The expenditure would be subject to detailed review of the plans and costs. It is recognised that this funding may not complete the project or only a part of it may be required if other resources are made available. The level of support may depend on the level of benefit to the Mossley community or activities on the site as a whole.

The funding may be used for feasibility or professional reports, but also to seed fund the actual works needed. Therefore any commitment to spend this funding would be to support a plan and secure further funding.

The Town Council cannot guarantee revenue funding at start-up, but may consider the use of the above funding for such purposes. The project should be self-sufficient beyond start up and plan to reinvest any appropriate surpluses for the benefit of the use of the building and the playing fields, a provision which should either be embodied in the start-up constitution of a new group or by contract in writing as part of the lease/grant agreement.

Timescale.

The Town Council understands that this process may take time as community projects need to develop and proper consultations are required to confirm the validity and need of the proposed use.

The Town Council will promote this initiative and are prepared to hold discussions to explore ideas. If you wish to discuss your ideas please use the contact below. The funds may well be withdrawn and deployed on other projects if there is no viable plan coming forward. The Council will give notice of that before any final decision is made.

Although we will have a transparent process in dealing with this, we will respect confidentiality requests from any interested party.

Interested parties should contact the Clerk to the Council on 07809 690890 or by email; theclerk@mossley-council.co.uk.

 

(Photographs courtesy of Mossley Independent newspaper)