St Neots determined to get best deal for new community centre


LFCC - Credit: Archant

St Neots Town Council has entered into fresh negotiations over how Love’s Farm community centre will be funded.

The single-storey, multi-use building is expected to cost about £638,000 with £413,000 being met through section 106 agreements – money paid by housing developers to provide infrastructure such as community buildings and schools.

An Environmental Fund grant could add another £30,000 leaving a potential shortfall of around £180,000. Huntingdonshire District Council had initially agreed to provide £80,000 with St Neots Town Council needing to find £100,000.

But in an about-turn HDC has proposed lending the town council the full £180,000 to be repaid – with interest – as and when the town council receives money from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) – funds paid by central government to HDC for housing developments in the town.

The operations and amenities committee met last night (Tuesday) to discuss the latest proposal.

Chairman Councillor Roger Harrison said: “HDC’s original proposal was that they contribute £80,000 to the project which meant the town council would have to raise £100,000. But since our percentage of CIL money has been increased from five to 15 per cent, they now want us to pay the full amount.

“Considering the amount of subsidies other community centres in the district receive from HDC this clearly isn’t the best deal for St Neots tax payers.”