Ilfracombe’s community building has ‘unexpected structural problems’

THE Lantern Centre in Ilfracombe is to be closed for around six months while repair works are carried out and before it is handed over to the town council.

Owner Devon County Council said unexpected structural problems discovered during a routine inspection mean remedial works have to be carried out as soon as possible.

The building is currently used by Lantern Community Pre-school, the Genie Cafe and other community groups.

The imminent repairs means the occupants need to temporarily relocate while work is carried out and the county council is already helping the pre-school find alternative accommodation.

The Mayor, Councillor Lynda Courtnadge, said the county had agreed to transfer the building to the town council.

The county has said it no longer requires the building and has been in discussions with ITC about securing its future as a community resource as part of the town’s new Neighbourhood Community Budget programme.

“The town council’s strategy is to take more control of our own town,” said Mrs Courtnadge.

“This is a community asset which we feel would be better run by Ilfracombe people, for Ilfracombe people. But there is still a lot of loose ends to tie up.

“The town council has always been aggrieved about the youth facilities in the town and highly critical about what we feel is a lack of services here.”

People can let the councils know what kind activities or services they feel should be in the Lantern by emailing community engagement co-ordinators on sarah.hiscock@northdevon.gov.uk or Janet.kennedy@northdevon.gov.uk