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Closed down Garston Urban Village Hall could be revived

A Garston community facility which closed down this summer could be given a new lease of life.

South Liverpool Homes is looking to help bring Garston Urban Village Hall back to full use and assist in developing a Community Interest Company (CIC) to operate and manage the building.

The housing association has indicated it would work with other organisations such as defibrillator awareness charity the Oliver King Foundation, which is said to have expressed an interest in occupying space within the hall to open a national ECG (electrocardiogram) centre.

Garston Urban Village Hall was built on Liverpool City Council owned land in 1999 and leased to Garston Urban Village Hall Ltd (GUVH) for a peppercorn rent to provide a community centre and provision for recreation, leisure and social welfare facilities.

However GUVH went into compulsory liquidation earlier this year as it was trading at a loss, resulting in the closure of the hall and the lease being disclaimed back to Liverpool City Council (LCC).

During a meeting on Friday (15 December), cabinet members will discuss plans for the local authority to negotiate a 30-year lease with South Liverpool Homes on a full repairing and insuring basis at a peppercorn rent.

A document to be considered by cabinet members says: “The Speke-Garston councillors have been working with LCC officers to identify a primary lease holder who could successfully operate the building, who would be willing to take on the repairs required and most importantly support the core value of meeting the needs of the local community.

“A number of local stakeholder organisations have been engaged as well as larger organisations that have a Liverpool-wide remit. Due to the difficulties faced by the hall and the declining provision over recent years, community credibility is particularly important in identifying a lessee for the hall going forward.

“Of the organisations approached and who have informally expressed an interest in operating the premises, South Liverpool Homes has been identified as having the local credibility with the community, the capacity and potential resource to support the hall being reopened to the community and engage other services to operate from the hall.”