Community centre charity moves to new model to future-proof facility
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A charity that manages and maintains Long Ashton Community Centre is in the process of moving to a new model.
The Long Ashton Community Association Charity (LACA) is set to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) in a bid to safeguard the community centre's future.
The process can take anywhere between two to six months and trustees are now working with Voluntary Action North Somerset (VANS) to create a new CIO, which will then elect new trustees.
LACA hopes the formation of the new CIO will help it attract skilled individuals, ensuring a ‘diverse range of members’ that will help direct its governance.
Members of Long Ashton Parish Council, which owns the community centre and leases the facilities to LACA, voted at a meeting in March to spend up to £6,000 in legal fees in advice to guide the authority through the process.
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This follows the news that in January, four of LACA’s trustees resigned because they ‘disagreed with a decision made regarding an internal HR matter’. A fifth trustee was recruited, which renewed the term of the parish council representative with LACA.
As of last month, LACA is now financially stable - the charity was due to receive a £20,000 emergency grant in January - and LACA has also reopened some of its facilities in line with Government guidelines.
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LACA trustees said the charity did not need the emergency grant, and Long Ashton Parish Council decided to reallocate the funds at a meeting on March 22.
As of March 29, Taekwando, Rugbytots, LA Tennis Club, LA Football Club and Junior Football Club is back up and running, and all groups have completed an up-to-date risk assessment to help the activities be Covid secure.
Long Ashton Community Centre manager, Sally-Anne Tarsey, said: “We recognise that many people are very passionate about the future of LACA and the community centre and we are keen to hear the views of community members and always encourage questions and feedback. If you have any queries, we can easily be contacted through the LACA website.”
To find out more information about LACA’s move to a new charity model and to get in touch with the community centre, log on to www.longashtoncommunitycentre.org/