EVESHAM’S Public Hall could be bought by community groups in the future if it is ever sold, after council chiefs backed plans for it to be listed as an asset of community value.
At a planning committee of Evesham Town Council on Monday (April 18), councillors voted in favour of applying to Wychavon District Council for a Community Asset Order on the venue.
Under the order, if the Public Hall was put up for sale in the future, any group wanting to buy the venue would trigger a moratorium for six months to give them a chance of raising the funds to buy the hall.
The call for the Public Hall to be listed as a community asset was sparked following the launch of a campaign to get the venue re-opened as the Observer previously reported.
Although the order may not directly result in the hall re-opening, it gives the venue an extra layer of protection and gives the community a chance of owning it if it was ever put up for sale.
Speaking at the meeting, Coun Richard Jones said: “Just for the sake of filling a form out, we may as well see what they [Wychavon] have to say.
“It doesn’t mean to say it will re-open anytime soon, and as the order say’s it’s all about selling it off, so if they wanted to sell we’d have first notice.
“It doesn’t mean to say by having this anything’s going to change, but it certainly shows the strength of feeling to Wychavon and Aviva that it’s an asset we want to keep.”
However, Coun John Smith raised concern about whether or not the Town Council had the resource to take the Public Hall on if it was put up for sale.
“Whilst the aspiration is very good, if it’s going to be in the name of the Town Council, and lets say it came up for purchase, are we really going to say we the Town Council want to take it on,” Coun Smith said.
“Where’s the money coming from and who’s going to run it.”