The new Westhoughton Hub has officially been handed over to the community.
The former community college building has now been taken on by the community, as a meeting place for local groups and a place to attend a new range of courses.
The deal, which involves the transfer of the building into community ownership has been arranged by Bolton Council and Bolton College, working in partnership to benefit local people.
The Hub will be run by Westhoughton Community Vision, a new community association formed by local residents, councillors and local businesses. Their aim is to provide a community hub for the people of Westhoughton, with access to meeting spaces, advice, information, educational, social and leisure opportunities. They have also consulted with the local community on their wishes and needs and what they would like to see in the building.
Some anchor tenants have already been agreed for the centre, with Aspire Dance and Stage agreeing to use the centre as a base for its varied programme of dance and theatre classes, whilst Howfen Radio will broadcast its community radio station from the centre.
Westhoughton Community Vision is currently talking to other organisations interested in using the building, with the aim of providing a variety of vocational courses as well as cultural, social and leisure groups, but not to duplicate any existing provision already on offer in the town.
Gaynor Ratcliffe, Chair of Westhoughton Community Vision said: “The birth of the Westhoughton Community Hub is a testament to all the hard work and commitment put in by the team, volunteers and the community. There is a great feel to the new Hub and we are delighted with the response from the residents of Westhoughton to this new and exciting project.
We have worked closely with Bolton Council, Bolton College, Bolton CVS and other stakeholders to get the best outcome for the community and together we know we can make a difference. We are looking forward to opening our doors, everyone is welcome, please come along and join us at the new facility.
Councillor Cliff Morris, Leader of Bolton Council said: “We are pleased that we have been able to work with the college to transfer this building into community ownership. This building is very important to the people of Westhoughton, as a meeting place for the community and we are delighted that its transfer into community ownership will allow it to become a real community hub, providing meeting spaces, information, educational, social and leisure opportunities.”
Bill Webster, Principal of Bolton College, said: “We are delighted to hand over the building to the local community. Members of Westhoughton Community Vision have worked incredibly hard on behalf of the residents of Westhoughton and the Hub will be a real asset to the people who live and work in the area.”
For more information about Westhoughton Community Hub, click here
to view their Facebook page.