Last-ditch bid to buy landmark
LECHLADE town council could be making a last-dash attempt to keep a valuable community asset at bay from developers.
The centrally located Methodist church and hall, which has been in the market town for more than a century, is up for sale.
At this week’s town council meeting, members of the umbrella organisation Arts in Lechlade (AiL) pleaded with councillors to enter a closed bid for the High Street property, which has a guide price of £180,000.
However, with less than a month to go until the October 11 deadline, councillors have not got much time to decide.
AiL member Mike Keegan said that although the church had not been in use for a few years, the hall remained a vibrant hub for community groups across Lechlade.
As well as hosting a large number of arts activities and events organised by AiL, the hall is also used by Scout groups, exercise classes and more.
Mike said: "It’s a very valuable resource and it would be a great shame if it was lost."
He added that AiL members were keen to work with the town council to manage the hall and they had looked at various funding options.
Cllr Gary Holland said it was a "phenomenal timescale" but added: "This hall is really well used in Lechlade and the least we can do is set up a committee to do something."
Cllr Sue Coakley said there were other venues in the town that could be used.
She said: "I’m happy to set up a group but it needs to not just look at can we buy it, but should we buy it and how else can we help these groups in the community."
Councillors voted to create a working group to consider the possibility of borrowing funds from a public loans board on a low interest rate to purchase the property.