St George's Square Published: Friday, 29th May 2015

Oldham Council has helped secure the long-term future of a Chadderton residents’ club by transferring ownership of its premises to the community group.

The local authority has granted St George’s Square over-60s Club a lease of 30 years, which means it can now fundraise and pursue grants safe in the knowledge they have a long term occupancy.

Councillor Jim McMahon, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve been able to work closely with members of the community in Chadderton in a way that benefits the club and residents.

“Previously the club only had a short term lease so they could only apply to small funding pots. Now they have a long term lease funding organisations can see they are going to be around for years to come so they could be more open to committing resources and money.

“This is a good solution that we hope might inspire other groups who feel they could run a plot of land or building.

“The transferal of assets to community ownership gives residents a greater say and stake in their areas whilst also enabling us to use resources more efficiently and reduce the cost to Council taxpayers.”

Fred Hembrough, club chairman, said: “At the recent AGM the granting of a long term lease by the council was warmly received by our members who are now able to look forward to a more secure future with greater confidence to build on the improvements funded by the local authority over recent years. 

“Expansion of club membership along with increased bowling and leisure activities bodes well for a brighter future for St George’s Square over 60s club.”

The granting of the lease is among a package of support the council has provided to the Chadderton-based club over the last five years.

Improvement work to the clubhouse has included replacement doors and windows, repairs to external joinery and guttering, external redecoration and the addition of disabled toilets.

Wates Living Space, part of the Inspiral Consortium that is transforming four sites across the borough, has also installed free loft insulation in the building to help the club with ongoing running costs.

Mick Holling, Interim Regional Managing Director for Wates Living Space, commented: “Wates is committed to supporting the communities where it works and we are delighted to have been able to help this key local group. Now that St George’s Square Over-60s Club has been given ownership of the premises, this will enable it to further the good work that it already does in Chadderton.”

Cllr McMahon added: “We hope the improvement works, together with the security the lease gives will provide the basis for the club to prosper in the years ahead.”

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