Wellingborough’s Glamis Hall could remain open if councillors agree at a meeting next week to transfer it to a newly-formed community organisation.
It was agreed last month to close the council-run building at the end of the year, but talks have been ongoing with interested groups who could potentially take it on from January.
A community group, which has recently become known as Glamis Hall for All (GHfA), presented a detailed business plan to councillors at an informal meeting at the end of October.
As well as the transfer of the building, the group is asking for a one-off grant of up to £250,000 to help repair and refurbish the 40-year old building.
If councillors agree to the proposals, the organisation’s business plan sets out how they would run the building as a community hub, offering services for people of all ages across the borough.
Wellingborough Council leader Cllr Paul Bell said: “After many meetings and discussion, the council made the very difficult decision to close Glamis Hall. Since then we have had talks with Glamis Hall for All, which is the only organisation that has shown sustained interest and commitment to taking it on after we close it.
“Following these talks, and after exploring their business plan in much more detail, we’re now in a position to propose that they take on the building under community asset transfer legislation, which allows us to transfer land and buildings to the local community at less than full market value.
“There are still a lot of details to iron out, but in essence councillors are being asked to agree to the transfer, offer a one-off capital grant to bring the building up to scratch, and allow that work to start immediately in the New Year whilst the terms of the actual transfer are being negotiated. This would mean as seamless and timely a transition as possible.
“I have been so impressed by the work GHfA has put into finding a way to keep this building open. The council is unable to continue running and funding the discretionary day care service at Glamis Hall, but this strong community has come together to find a way forward and they should be commended for that.”
Members of the council’s resources committee will discuss the proposals at a special meeting next Wednesday evening (19 November) before making recommendations to the full council meeting of 9 December.