Community Centre rubbishes closure rumours

Extension could be on the cards

The Crow had been contacted by several residents in recent weeks who said they had heard the Coombes Community Centre in Burns Road was struggling financially.

But manager Gillian Morland opposed these claims, saying the centre is planning to extend its building.

Mrs Morland said: “In direct contradiction to what anyone may have heard, the centre is in fact doing very well financially.

“There is a lot going on in this town that will benefit the community centre and make it more accessible for the future, so we have begun the discussion stage to see if development is sustainable.

“The underpass being built that will link the halves of the town together, the new cycle path and the Fairview Homes housing estates in the town will all built in the next two to four years.”

The building, which is owned by North Herts District Council and run by the Royston Community Association, could have a second function hall with a bar, several meeting rooms and a new reception area, with Mrs Morland saying that the demand should be there.

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“The second hall will be multi-use for groups and activities, possibly martial arts groups,” said Mrs Morland.

“The plans are at the very early stages and we will do a feasibility study to make sure there is demand, but if current booking enquiries are anything to go by there would definitely be groups ready to come and use the extra space.”

Mrs Morland said the progression had been part of the building’s plan since it was first erected in 1987.

“When it was built it was meant to be in three phases. First was to build it, then it was to add the purpose built under five’s area.

“Stage three was second hall but funding never appeared for it, so all were doing is progressing what was already planned.”

Community Association chairman Cllr Bill Davidson agreed that closure rumours were false.

“I don’t know where these rumours have come from but basically they are a load of rubbish,” he said.

“The centre is doing very well and we hope to move on with plans to expand it.”