Village community centre given reprieve

Ore Centre
Ore Centre

A COMMUNITY centre has been saved from closure.

The Ore Centre in Old London Road looked set to shut its doors as part of a cost-cutting exercise by East Sussex County Council.

The authority used to own the building and planned to sell the centre but it was given a last-minute reprieve.

Councillor Terry Fawthrop, who represents Ore and Baird ward on the county council, managed to broker an agreement with fellow county councillors to save the facility from closing.

He said: “A group of trustees have decided to take over the running of the Ore Centre after meeting last week and the county council has agreed, as a token of goodwill, offered £20,000 to the trustees to cover the first year’s costs.

“I heard several months ago that the county council was planning to sell the community centre because it was seen as a surplus to requirements.

“If it had closed it would have been knocked down and another block of flats set up in its place, which we wouldn’t have wanted.”

The Ore Centre used to be a school and some of the county council’s children’s services were once based there.

Cllr Fawthrop said the Ore Centre was vital to the community in and around Ore as many social groups used the building.

He said: “It is well used, as literally dozens of groups go there, from dancing to judo, so it is fantastic news that the building’s future has been secured.”

The county council’s chief executive Becky Shaw and the authority’s chairman Chris Dowling, will be visiting the Ore Centre on Monday for a tour and to see what the centre does.

Linda Smith, secretary of Hastings and Rother Family History Society, one of the groups that use the centre, said: “We are pleased the centre is now not going to close. Not only do we meet monthly, we have a research room inside that is open twice a week.

“It would be difficult to find somewhere else to use and store all of our stuff.”