The Kearsley area is up for a council-owned community centre as the authorities aim to add sought-after services to the town and surrounding settlements.

The Labour Group committed to the creation of the council-owned community centre as a way to acquire support to take power at the town hall last year.

In 2022 a site on Crompton Road, the site of Zac's Centre, became available after the charity said it was unable to continue its work.

At the end of the same year the council approved its addition to a list of buildings up for Community Asset Transfer to allow other organisations the opportunity to take control of it.

However this week the council approved its removal from the list of buildings up for Community Asset Transfer and its reopening after some repairs to the tune of around £10,000.

The assistant director of transformation, Andrew Williamson, told the cabinet member for regulatory services, Susan Haworth, the rationale for the reopening ahead of its approval.

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Mr Williamson said: "Since the approval of the Community Asset Transfer there has been an increasing level of awareness of the need for a council-owned community centre in the area. "Relative to our other areas it has few council-owned facilities, no community centre, no town hall, etcetera, and it is an exception.

"Over the course of the last 18 months it has become clear to us we should be using this particular property to have it as a council-owned community centre."

Tracey Wilkinson, a councillor for the area, threw her support behind the scheme saying it was high on her agenda since her return to the town hall in a by-election at the end of last year.

She warned the council about the prospective name of Kearsley Community Centre as the prospective location of the site on Crompton Road is in Prestolee.

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Cllr Wilkinson said: "Since the building became vacant I cannot tell you how much contact I have had in relation to it from the community wanting to turn it into something for the community. 

"So let us see who is out there and let us see who is willing to invest in the building because I think people are willing to invest in the building. I could give you a list of 10 people to speak to."

Cllr Wilkinson said: "We are not a divided community, but a bit of a divided community, because when people come together they come together but they are really, really proud about names. 

"Obviously there is Kearsley and there are the villages – Prestolee, Ringley, Stoneclough – and people are upset when something is not referred to properly."

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.