Church group gets keys to Avon Way Hall as council relinquishes control
PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 December 2018
Uncertainty surrounding the future of a Portishead 'community asset' has been resolved after the keys to the building were handed to a church group.
The lease for Avon Way Hall has been transferred by North Somerset Council to Vintage Church after the authority looked to offload the building.
The community hall, which sits above shops in Avon Way, is used for community activities including dance, baby groups, exercise classes and martial arts.
But the council in 2017 decided it wanted to surrender control of Avon Way Hall, despite it running a small surplus, because of the work required to employ staff.
After consultation with users and Portishead Town Council, North Somerset appealed for community groups to come forward – and after evaluating submissions it deemed Vintage Church the most suitable to take control of the hall.
Chris James, leader of Vintage Church, hopes the transfer of the lease can ensure the building remains in the hands of the community for many years to come.
He said: “We are delighted to have taken over the running of Avon Way Hall from North Somerset and appreciate the diligence of the council in seeking to ensure the best interest of the community in this transition.
“Our desire is that Avon Way Hall remains a community space for Portishead.
“We are working hard on retaining all of our existing bookings and we look forward to welcoming new users to the hall.”
Portishead East councillor David Pasley, who is also the authority’s executive member for asset management, is pleased a suitable leaseholder was found.
He said: “While reducing the council’s liability, it was important to ensure Avon Way Hall remained a community asset for the residents of Portishead.
“Vintage Church performed well at all stages of the evaluation process and we have no reservations in transferring the lease to the group.
“It is in a good position to both operate and develop the hall.”
For more information on booking the hall, call Aaron Rath on 07413 456464 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org