Bid to fit out new community centre in Milton Keynes to get £25,000

Pouring a pint
Pouring a pint

A campaigning Milton Keynes councillor is cock-a-hoop after yesterday’s (Tuesday) Cabinet meeting approved a proposal to spend £25,000 on fitting out a new community centre.

The former Suffolk Punch pub, off Saxon Street, in Heelands, was owned by the Parks Trust but was sold for housing, with a condition attached that the parish be provided with a community hall.

“Tonight’s decision to assist us with the £25,000 funding is absolutely superb, it will help with architects, consultants and the right type of furnishing,” said Bradwell councillor Robin Bradburn. “It is an added bonus and enables us to go back to the residents and say ‘this is what you wanted.’

“Perhaps with a members’ bar we could go back to getting a little bit of a public house.” The centre is named after the Suffolk Punch, which keeps the memory alive of the pub, which was around for more than 30 years.

The money will also help Bradwell Parish Council to go out to public consultation to find out what the local community wants the new hall to provide.

The idea is that it has multiple uses, perhaps with a coffee bar, and a place where local elderly people can go during the day. A members’ club might also have a bar area which would be open a few nights a week.

Cllr Bradburn said: “There’s nothing in Heelands. There’s a small shopping centre with a baker’s, a butcher’s, a chemist and a meeting hall which does not have a bar.

“There’s no pub in the Heelands grid square, so this is a way of getting back what the residents had for more than 30 years.”

Cllr Bradburn (Lib Dem) emphasised that there would be no intention to compete with the local meeting hall or other facilities.

But the move could also provide Bradwell Parish Council with a purpose-built office on the club’s first floor, if the developers agree.

The parish council currently meets in the lounge of a council house in Glovers Lane. Moving to the hall would mean that the house could be used for its intended purpose.