THE ‘heartbroken’ trustees of Community House in Redditch have announced the building will close at the end of the year.

It was decided by Redditch Borough Council last year that Community House on Easemore Road will be sold as it was ‘declared surplus to council requirements’.

The decision prompted a huge backlash from the community, leading to more than 1,200 people signing a petition to save the building.

Gemini Dance Studio, which has operated from the premises for 30 years, slammed the council for their decision and held a protest outside a full council meeting.

Gary Roskell, trustee of Community House, also sought to have the building listed as an asset of community value (ACV), which would have given the community a right to bid to buy the development.

Unfortunately, Gary’s efforts were knocked back by the council and the ACV application was turned down.

Now, the Community House trustees have announced the building will close on December 31.

Redditch Advertiser: Community House.Community House. (Image: Google.)

Redditch Borough Council say they are ‘in the process’ of helping those affected by the closure of Community House.

Margaret Mountford, chair of Redditch Community Neighbourhood Trust (RCNT), which manages Community House said: “Despite great efforts by R.C.N.T. and the residents of Redditch to save Community House for the people of Redditch we have reluctantly had to accept defeat and accept that Community House will close on the December 31, 2023.

“We are sorry that the council has taken the decision to close Community House and end the valued service its tenants have given to the people of Redditch over many years.

“We trust that promises given to our leaseholders by the Council to assist with relocation will be honoured.”

RCNT say the council offered to sell the property and its surroundings to them for £700,000 and the trust explored as many avenues as possible to see If they could raise the money.

But the trust said they can see ‘no viable way of raising the funding needed’.

A council spokesperson said: “We are currently in the process of actively helping the groups affected by the closure of Community House to source other premises.

“We are not currently able to discuss the exact details of where and when each of the groups will be moved on the off chance that this may differ going forward.

“More detailed information will be available at a later date once everything is agreed.”

Community House was originally built in 1908 and was used as an Artillery barracks.

In the 1960s the building was purchased by the Redditch Development Corporation who initially leased it to the Windsor Social Club.

Later, as part of an endeavour to provide social and cultural amenities for the town, the Development Corporation leased the building to the Redditch Common Neighbourhood Trust to be used as a community centre for local charities and organisations.

When the Development Corporation was dissolved, the property was handed to Redditch Borough Council for community use.

RCNT said: "This amazing, vibrant, vital community asset will, sadly, be lost to the residents of Redditch at the end of 2023."