Newport Pagnell battles to save its British Legion clubhouse
Milton Keynes Council has pledged to do everything possible to save a thriving British Legion club it previously placed under threat of closure.
Newport Pagnell Royal British Legion has occupied its building at Ousebank for 37 years.
The Grade 11 listed premises are owned by MK Council and leased, not to the club itself, but to the national Royal British Legion charity on a peppercorn rent.
Recently the council announced it was considering not renewing the lease and exploring other options for the large building, which is in need of some repair.
One of the options was selling it off for housing development.
The national RBL, it is understood, is willing to let the building go.
But both parties reckoned without the fighting spirit of the club, which forms a hub of the community in Newport Pagnell and leases rooms to a string of local organisations.
Now, backed by the town council, the club is urging the council to keep the building in community use.
Ward councillor and Lib Dem leader, Major Douglas McCall, is president of the club and at the forefront of the fight, saying its loss would be a “tragedy” for the town.
MK Council leader Pete Marland told the Citizen: “I’m aware of this difficult problem. The issue is with the national arm of the RBL. I held a productive meeting with the local community and agreed we would give them time to come up with a local solution. We are doing all we can to help.”
A spokesman for the national RBL charity told the Citizen: “At present the Legion, the club and Milton Keynes Council are conducting ongoing negotiations in regards to future plans for the council-owned building and hope to seek a conclusion agreed by all parties.”
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