Centre’s keys are handed over to people

Terry Fawthrop, Cllr Colin Belsey and Mayor Bruce Dowling at the hand over
Terry Fawthrop, Cllr Colin Belsey and Mayor Bruce Dowling at the hand over
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A village’s centre has officially been handed over to the community.

Ore Community Centre, in Old London Road, used to be owned by East Sussex County Council.

This is the culmination of more than three years of work

Terry Fawthrop

In 2011 the authority announced it was planning to sell off the centre because it was deemed surplus to requirements.

But an army of trustees decided to step in and take over the running of the building.

As a result, Ore Community Association took over ownership of the centre from the county council in December 2011.

At a ceremony on Easter Saturday (April 4), the county council’s chairman, Councillor Colin Belsey met with Hastings Mayor Bruce Dowling at the official hand-over of Ore Community Centre to the community.

Terry Fawthrop, who is chairman of the trustees for the facility, said: “This is the culmination of more than three years of work from when I was first told that the county council wanted to get rid of the building.

“The county council’s first plan was to sell it to developers as building land, after some lobbying they agreed to sell it to the community for £1.

“This has now happened and the centre will be transferred into a new charity, with the proviso that it is kept as a community centre forever.”

The centre is a thriving community hub which includes all age ranges from The Ore Community Pre-School to the Ore Seniors Group including dementia support, through Zumba dancing and Hastings and Rother Family History Society.

In all there are 40 groups use the building with approximately 750 people per week coming through the doors.

The building houses a variety of spaces which are available to let from a large hall and stage to small intimate rooms and is open seven days per week.

The centre can be contacted on 01424 432719, or alternatively groups can email orecentre@hotmail.co.uk.