Bid to make Hastings’ Isabel Blackman Centre community asset

The Isabel Blackman Centre, Hastings
The Isabel Blackman Centre, Hastings

A bid has been launched for a much-loved day centre to be taken over by the community.

The Isabel Blackman Centre, in Winding Street, Old Town, closed on March 31, despite campaigns and several petitions calling for it to remain open.

It closed as part of a series of cuts by the county council, as the authority said it needed to make savings in its adult social care budget.

Since then, Hastings Old Town Residents’ Association (HOTRA) has applied for the centre to be registered as an asset of community value.

A county council spokesman said the application was accepted by Hastings Borough Council.

The spokesman added: “This gives HOTRA up to six months to put a bid together for the building, should the county council decide to transfer a legal interest in the building for a term over seven years or to sell it. The county council has yet to make a formal decision on the building’s future.”

A Hastings Borough Council spokesman said: “The HOTRA nomination met the criteria to register the Isabel Blackman centre as an asset of community value.

“The registration lasts for five years. During that time, if the building is put up for sale HOTRA has six months to prepare a bid to buy the building.

“It is a right to bid as the owner is under no obligation to sell the building to HOTRA.”