Epsom & Ewell Borough Council will be considering the future use of the Wells site at the Strategy and Resources Committee on Tuesday 29 March 2022 https://democracy.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=132&MId=10...
In 2015, to ensure continuation of community services, the council decided to transfer services to the improved Community & Wellbeing Centre (three miles away) and close the Wells Centre. The Centre had experienced prolonged underuse and was placing an unsustainable financial burden on the borough’s council taxpayers.
The council has held a number of public meetings and consultations over the last five years to consider residential and community options for the site. Despite the additional challenges of the time frame imposed by COVID-19, the council has worked with the Epsom Wells Community Association (EWCA) who have produced a business case that could produce a solution that sees the existing building renovated, and long-term managed by the Wells residents at no short- or long-term costs to the council and council taxpayers.
After careful consideration, and with community involvement, the Strategy and Resources Committee is therefore being asked to provide the time to develop their plans to see whether the financial plans are feasible, and the longer-term success of the plan can be assured.
The EWCA proposal would involve the group taking responsibility for the building and putting it back into use again for hire, a café and a range of community-led activities.
The Chairman of the Strategy and Resources Committee states “We have listened to the local community and worked with EWCA to enable them to develop a business case to run the centre. Now that a viable plan has been received by the Council, I am confident that it is the right time for the Strategy and Resources Committee to consider this option for the future of the centre”.
The council is committed to enabling and encouraging community effort and supporting community success, and a renewed facility would support the principle that enhances the Cultural and Creative opportunities in the Borough “where people work together for the benefit of the community”.
Crucially, a successful plan will also remove any financial call on the council’s resources to enable the council’s other key priorities for residents to be pursued.