October 27th, 2016

Bath Place Community Venture given lifeline

Bath Place Community Venture given lifeline Bath Place Community Venture given lifeline
Updated: 3:01 pm, May 07, 2015

BATH Place Community Venture (BPCV) has been given a lifeline in their bid to return to their former site.

The former Victorian school the community group called home for 35 years was gutted by fire in 2009 and the building has laid all but empty since.

It was put on the market by owners Warwickshire County Council back in August and among those in the running to secure the site were its former occupants.

But in May county council chiefs voted to support another scheme – leaving the group and its supporters devastated.

But it seems BPCV has been given one last lifeline as the decision has been sent back for reconsideration, along with a number of other requests, following an overview and scrutiny committee meeting.

A new and most likely, final decision is expected when the Cabinet meets on Tuesday July 22.

BPCV spokesman Clayton Denwood said: “Bath Place has spent the best part of 18 months working on this re-development project and – although it has been a tough process – we are hopeful the Cabinet will recognise the value and importance the project holds for local people and organisations.

“We also hope it will support our efforts to provide a self-sustaining community resource for all – regardless of social or cultural background.”

Mr Denwood praised county councillors Bill Gifford, Matt Western and Jenny St.John as well as Warwick and Leamington MP Chris White for their help, support, advice and encouragement during the process so far.

And he added: “BPCV believes the regeneration of the site will have a real and positive impact on the local economy while providing a renewed focus for community empowerment and engagement.

“We will be now working closely with our partners and councillors to ensure the details of our proposals and the strength of local support for the project will be recognised and taken on board by members of the Cabinet.”

BPCV, described as being part of the ‘DNA of Leamington’, was a hub of activity with a café offering value vegetarian meals, volunteering opportunities, a nursery and mental health services for three decades prior to the devastating blaze that made them homeless.

Should the group be successful in acquiring the site, it would be regenerated to create a large community space, up to ten meeting rooms, an IT suite, a family centre, a café and a creative studio.