Future of Hastings community centre uncertain

The Bridge Community Centre, Ore.
The Bridge Community Centre, Ore.

The future of a much-loved community centre has been thrown into doubt.

Trustees of the Bridge have had to wind down their company, the Bridge Community Enterprise Ltd, because there is not enough money to continue running the facility.

Jay Kramer, chair of trustees, said: “We opened in January 2006 and celebrated our 10th anniversary last year. Through these years of austerity, we have done well to keep going for as long as we have, and we have compiled evidence of the impact that the Bridge has had on people’s lives and organisations we have worked with.

“The staff team have gone the extra mile to welcome people, provide lovely food, put on a wide range of activities, and keep the Bridge as it is supposed to be, which is a ‘place for everyone’. We would also like to express our appreciation to the volunteers who have given up their time over the years to help in the café/kitchen, garden and on reception.

“Trustees will be working on new arrangements which will include ensuring that the Creative pre-school, run by In2play, can continue and that some of our key groups, such as Starlings on a Monday morning and the Bridge Singers on a Friday can also continue to meet at the Bridge. We intend to honour all bookings between now and Christmas, when we will review the situation, and are prioritising the transfer of the building to another trusted organisation by the end of March at the latest.

“We hope to see the Bridge surviving through this difficult period and re-emerging as a thriving community resource once again in the future. It is important that we separate the building as an asset from the company that is currently running it and emphasise that no one wants to see the centre boarded up and empty.”