Council gives nod for next step in taking over Green Britain Centre

The Green Britain Centre, Swaffham, is to close Picture: Ian Burt

The Green Britain Centre, Swaffham, is to close Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A town council has voted to carry out legal due diligence which could see them take over a former environmental centre.

Swaffham Town Council (STC) voted to proceed to the next stage of the proposed asset swap with land at Days Field at an extraordinary council meeting on  Monday, December 14.

The Green Britain Centre, Swaffham. Picture: Ian Burt

The Green Britain Centre, Swaffham. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

The proposal, which eight councillors voted for and four voted against, would see STC take ownership of The Green Britain Centre (GBC) from Breckland Council.

At its peak, the Green Britain Centre was a thriving educational facility which also gave the public a unique opportunity to climb to the top of its towering wind turbine.

But in June last year the facility closed suddenly, with green energy firm Ecotricity - manager since 2008 - stating it was unprofitable.

The councils have been in talks about the future of the former environmental centre since October 2019.

Swaffham town mayor, Jill Skinner, said: “I am pleased with the support of my fellow councillors to take this project to the next stage.

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"Our frustrations in recent months have all been about lack of clarity, and this is just the end of the beginning.

"We now need to prepare ourselves, so we can share more information with the public at the earliest opportunity.

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"I believe that this decision to move forward can be a springboard to better things for the town as a whole.

"This is an exciting opportunity. The aim now is to do all we can to turn that opportunity into a viable project and present a final deal to our residents that they can all sign up to."

Paul Darby's proposal was seconded by Colin Houghton, and the wording said: “To agree in principle to the Asset Swap, to then proceed with the legal due diligence, additional feasibility study and public consultation, to negotiate with Breckland Council to become the sport and leisure provider for Swaffham, to make urgent enquiries with sport and leisure providers.”

Now STC will find out all the information they need to finalise an Asset Swap deal with Breckland Council and set up a public consultation in the new year.

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