Saturday, 21 July 2012

Great start to new community purchase


There has been a great start to a project by locals in a west Wales market town to buy the redundant police station and adjacent court-house in the town.

The aim is to use the buildings for community benefit.

Local people in the Cardigan area have already pledged nearly £10,000 towards the community purchase – just days after the project was announced.

The old police station
 The share appeal to raise money to buy the buildings was launched last week by 4CG, which raised hundreds of thousands of pounds two years ago to buy the redundant Pwllhai site in the town (see earlier blog – Growing Community Projects, July 13, 2012).

“This is an amazing initial public response to this idea,” said 4CG chairman Shan Williams.

“Within a few days we had applications for £6,000 worth of shares and the figure is now rapidly rising towards £10,000.

By becoming shareholders, the community will have a say in how the buildings are developed and will be fully involved in building a high street location and helping to transform their town centre. 

“This will ensure that the site is developed for the benefit of the community rather than private property developers.”

Ideas for the police station include using it as a bunk-house/hostel for walkers and other visitors; and creating offices to rent. The courthouse would be for community use.

Plans also include development of the police station yard, which backs onto Pwllhai.
“We would want to develop the whole site and landscape the whole area and bring it back to life,” said Mrs Williams.

The old court-house

Shares are being sold at £200 each, as they were for the original Pwllhai purchase. The money raised will be ring-fenced specifically for the old police station project.

4CG plans to put in an offer for the buildings very soon.

The old police station and the courthouse next door in Priory Street have both been empty for more than a year.

*Application forms for shares are available at the Eco Shop in Pwllhai or from the website: www.4cg.org.uk