Ipswich: Whitehouse Community Centre closes after committee collapse

A Halloween party held at the community centre - one of many family activities hosted there A Halloween party held at the community centre - one of many family activities hosted there

Paul Geater paul.geater@archant.co.uk
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
6:09 PM

Another community centre in Ipswich has closed and been boarded up after the organisation that ran it effectively ceased to exist.

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Whitehouse Community Centre has been boarded up by the borough council which owns the building. Everything of value inside has been removed for safe storage.

The move comes after the Whitehouse Residents’ Association – which ran the community centre – was left with no committee members, no employees, and no trustees.

Now the borough is looking to other organisations which might be interested in taking over the community centre in Limerick Close.

A council spokesman said: “We are keen to retain this building for community uses. We will be writing later this week to community and voluntary sector groups in the town to draw this opportunity to their intention.

“We intend to use a similar process to that which we used to seek occupiers for the former Crown Court building that we acquired earlier this year.”

Any interested groups should contact susan.rutter@ipswich.gov.uk to ensure that they receive the information about the site and the expression of interest process.

Expressions of interest will need to be submitted by May 16 and it is hoped that a future occupier will have been identified by the end of May and the building re-opened as possible after that.

The borough believes that one possible use for the centre could be as a “village hall” for the Whitehouse area of the town – the centre is also not far from the Whitton estate.

The centre was set up in the late 1980s by the residents’ association which had originally been formed to represent council tenants whose Orlit prefabs were replaced by the borough during that decade.

Lynn Andrews was the founding chair of the association, and said it had been very popular at one time: “There were all kinds of events – social evenings, bingo, and things for children.

“I haven’t been involved there for some time, but I know there were problems in getting people involved. As those who set it up have moved on it is often difficult to find new people to take over.”

5 comments

  • wow, how many more clubs will be closed by this council, families will have no where to have social facilities, sports clubs yes, but family night out .Ransomes, Bourne vale now this one all in 6 months

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    this is what we pay tax for

    Thursday, April 24, 2014

  • Sounds like IBC are at their old tricks again! Are we meant to believe that everyone involved just vanished somewhere, the council boarded up the place as they thought a couple of months have past when its only been 2 minutes and that the short time scales for alternative use is solely because they are so keen to support someone else using it? They want to demolish it and build housing there. Its not something that can be done overnight so they are quick moving... you know, get the ball rolling, distract people with the upcoming elections, stick planning application in... and new homes by end of the year...

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • This smacks of the council having other plans for the building.

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    richie w

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • the problem is in the words 'residents association' People only join these groups when their is a problem, they go for a few meetings, moan a bit, complain a lot. Thus running things falls to a few decicated people who have to listen to a lot of people moaning at them and all for little reward and too much work. If the community needs this, the council should run it. If the community doesnt need it then close it down. I spent 5 years as a resident engagement officer for a housing body and I had to sit through a lot of meetings with hard pressed people running these types of places.

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    Sentinel Red

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • If the borough would like to keep this building for community use, how about asking the community what they would like. A timescale of just over 2 weeks for anyone to 'express an interest' and put forward their idea is just ridiculous - what's the rush? To say it's recently been run effectively will be a surprise to many who live in the ward.

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    Tolly

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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