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Castle Hill Community Centre announcement and open meeting

Castle Hill Community Centre

After much consideration, Community Action Suffolk will not be extending the lease of the Castle Hill Community Centre in Ipswich, when it expires on 31 March 2016.

Until that time, the centre will continue to operate as usual; bookings, room hire and office space will not be affected.

To discuss the future of the centre, Suffolk County Council and Community Action Suffolk would like to invite anyone interested, to an ‘open meeting’ to be held at:

Castle Hill Community Centre on Monday 5 October 2015 at 4pm.

We would very much like to hear any questions you may have on the future of the centre, whether you are based there or are a user of the community services offered at Castle Hill.

Suffolk County Council entered into a lease with Community Action Suffolk in 2013 when the building was no longer required to deliver council services. Community Acton Suffolk’s Board of Trustees has decided not to renew the lease on its expiry on 31 March 2016.

We recognise that as well as accommodating staff at Castle Hill, Community Action Suffolk enable the facility to host a number of community groups and other organisations both on a regular and informal basis. We will work together with the current users of the building and other local stakeholders to explore options, post April 2016.

We do appreciate that this news creates a level of uncertainty, however we wanted to take the opportunity of informing you as soon as possible and starting a dialogue early so we have the best possible chance of finding a good solution going forward.

We look forward to meeting you and hope by working together we can find a good solution going forward. Please let us know if you plan on attending, by contacting Belinda Couldridge at CAS [email protected]


Melanie Chew
Chief Executive, Community Action Suffolk


Sara Blake
Head of Localities & Communities, Suffolk County Council

Questions about Castle Hill Community Centre

Why has CAS decided to end the lease? 
The lease comes to an end in March 2016. The CAS Board decided to not renew because it does not fit with our long-term plans; we are a registered charity with a mission to provide infrastructure support throughout the county and therefore need to spread our resources around the county.

Why is CAS making this announcement now?
We are making the announcement now to give all parties involved plenty of time to consider their own future plans. Some of our tenants or stakeholders may be interested in taking on the lease themselves and would need time to get ready to do so, or to make alternative arrangements.

What does this mean for the regular class I run there?
We are confident that the local community will still be well-served with classes and clubs. We will explore all the options when we hold an open meeting shortly.

Can I book rooms later than April 2016?
Not at the moment, because we do not yet know who will be running the centre from April 2016 onwards. However you can continue to book rooms as usual up until the end of March 2016 – we will continue to run the centre as normal in the meantime.

I still have a question, who can I contact?
If you have any questions regarding bookings or office space at Castle Hill Community Centre, please contact [email protected]

For further questions regarding this announcement, please contact Melanie Chew at Community Action Suffolk [email protected]

What happens next?
We have arranged a meeting to be held at the centre, on Monday 5 October 2015 at 4pm, to which anyone is invited to discuss the future of the centre.