The future of the Isabel Blackman Centre – a ‘vital community asset’

The Future of the Isabel Blackman Centre in Hastings Old Town is back on the agenda and Age UK needs your support to try to save what they say is, ‘this vital community asset’ by signing their petition.

Age UK East Sussex have been working with the Hastings and St Leonards Seniors Forum, Hastings Voluntary Action, Sussex Community Development Association and Hastings Old Town Residents Association to examine a future for the centre that was shut in March by East Sussex County Council (ESCC) in a bid to save cash.

A petition has been launched asking East Sussex County Council to engage with the voluntary sector about the building’s future or, if the building is sold, to ring-fence the money the council receives to benefit older people in Hastings.

The petition says: “We… petition the council to note that the Isabel Blackman Centre is a unique and historic asset which was created largely by charitable donations to serve local people.

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“Those who gave to create this resource did so because of a desire to serve local people, particularly the most vulnerable. The building is currently empty, boarded up and its future is uncertain.

“This petition calls upon ESCC to: Recognise the unique history of the building and its importance to the people of Hastings and to actively participate in constructive discussions with local voluntary and community organisations to facilitate the transfer of the building to create a resource for older people and the wider community. Should this not prove possible, to ensure that any capital receipt arising from the disposal of Isabel Blackman Centre is ring-fenced to benefit older people within the borough of Hastings and within the ethos of the gifts and donations which created the asset.

“The Isabel Blackman Centre has served the local community for many years. It is an asset which was generated through local community action and generosity.

“As the custodian of the building ESCC must act to ensure that it continues to meet community need, or any assets arising from its sale be deployed in a manner which is in accord with the wishes of its benefactors and donors.”

  • To sign the petition follow the link below
  • https://democracy.eastsussex.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?id=500000027&TPID=503118186&$LO$=1

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