Church groups have another six months to use the centre
COMMUNITY groups who will lose their base when it is sold have secured a six-month reprieve.
They now have until June, instead of the end of this month, to use Ashford’s Centrepiece Church and hall now that it is on the market.
The extra time has come through the wait for a deal with a new buyer to be finalised and months of paperwork.
Church minister the Rev David Clark said: “According to Charity Commission rules we have to sell to the highest bidder and at the moment there are two interested parties.
“We have written to local groups to tell them they can continue using the centre until the end of June. This is because once a bid is accepted it will take at least three months to do all the paperwork.”
Mr Clark said it was unknown when a bid would be accepted and did not want to reveal who the present prospective buyers were.
In August it was revealed 20 local groups, such as Ashford Active Retirement Association, would have to find new premises after the Bank Street centre was put up for sale.
They had been guaranteed bookings until the end of 2009.
The Rev David Clark outside The Centrepiece Church
Mr Clark explained that church management needed more modern premises to fit in with the Disability Discrimination Act.
He said the present 15-room 19th century building was too big and difficult to adapt and new premises were needed with enough parking.