Community groups with a plan for the Isabel Blackman Centre are being asked to come forward.
Yesterday Hastings Borough Council (HBC) announced that it was ‘inviting expressions of interest’ in the Winding Street building right in the heart of the Old Town that is owned by East Sussex County Council (ESCC).
At county level councillors have decided to dispose of the building, however, because it was recently given the status of an Asset of Community Value it means community groups will be given up to six months to develop their ideas for the how the building can be put to work for the good of the town before the building goes on the open market.
Councillor Kim Forward, HBC’s deputy leader and lead councillor for planning policy, explained: “ESCC has notified HBC of its wish to market and dispose of the centre. As a registered Asset of Community Value this has triggered an initial six week moratorium period for qualifying local community interest groups to express an interest in bidding for the property.
“If any eligible community interest groups do express an interest in bidding during this time, a six month moratorium period will be triggered for the community group to prepare a bid on the building.
“At the end of the six months, if an eligible community group has successfully put a bid together, the owner will have the option to either accept the bid or sell the property freely on the open market.”
Expressions of Interest can be submitted in writing by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or post to Planning Policy, Hastings Borough Council, Muriel Matters House, Breeds Place, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3UY. They must be received by 5pm Tuesday 6 August.
Further information on the Community Right to Bid and the Expressions of Interest process can be found on the Council website at https://www.hastings.gov.uk/my_community/righttobid/bid/ and https://www.hastings.gov.uk/my_community/righttobid/ACVforsale/