Yesterday, we emailed our nomination to list the BCCA as an "asset of community value" with B'mth Council. We copied in the Leader of the Council, John Beesley and Leaders of the other political groups in too as well, as local ward Councillors and of course our local M.P., Tobias Ellwood. As we believe we are the first group to nominate an asset of community value in the area, we have also contacted the Echo with our news.
Below is the email we sent:
Friends of the Boscombe Centre for Community and Arts,
11th October 2012
For the Attention of Mr. Tony Williams,
Dear Mr. Williams,
Re: The Boscombe Centre for Community and Arts (BCCA), Haviland Road, Bournemouth – Nomination as Asset of Community Value
BCCA Friends request that Bournemouth Council list the building and land known as the Bournemouth Centre for Community Arts (BCCA) as an Asset of Community Value as defined by the Localism Act, 2011. Our request is to list the entire site and buildings, which is owned by Bournemouth Council as outlined and defined in the Land Registry on the 11th October 2012.
As you know, it is the intention of Bournemouth Council together with Bournemouth 2026 to demolish the majority of the BCCA buildings in order to build dwellings for sale through a Community Land Trust.
As a company limited by guarantee, we are eligible as a group according to the Act to put forward a nomination.
You will be aware that our group is locally based and its aims have been to reopen the BCCA as a self funding Community and Art Centre in order to enhance the historic links to the Shelley family; to provide workshop, exhibition, office and concert space to local creatives, fledgling entrepreneurs, small businesses, voluntary organisations and agencies; to encourage tourism through supporting the creative industries; to aid regenerate Boscombe; to increase community health and wellbeing; and to be a dynamic community ‘not for profit’ organisation responding to the needs of the community.
The planning application put forward to demolish and build on the BCCA site was opposed by 938 individuals, whilst those writing in favour of the planning application numbered only 2; we submit that this shows the volume of local view that the BCCA is seen as an Asset of Community Value, which should not be demolished. Additionally, part of the objection form the 938 signed, contained a sentence requesting that, “In addition, I formally submit that together with BCCA Friends, I request that under the Localism Act (2011) the entire BCCA site be listed by the Council as a Asset of Community Value immediately as that part of the Act comes into force.” We submit that this shows the local view that the BCCA is an Asset of Community Value and should be listed as such.
Whilst the BCCA has been closed as an Adult Learning Centre for 4 years, the need during that period, however, for a Community and Art Centre has grown, rather than diminished, with Boscombe now being the “most deprived community in the entire South West” yet it does not have the benefit of a Community Centre. Bournemouth Council seek to regenerate Boscombe via the creative industries, yet a major hurdle is the severe lack of workable space for hire for creatives, which the BCCA can amply provide. Although, Council Officer, Andy Williams produced a report for the Planning Board stating that the demolition of the BCCA would not “constitute a loss”, Mr. Williams report is contentious according to a report from Creative Kids, and statements made both by Bournemouth Creatives and also New Wave Integrated Care.
BCCA Friends put forward a business plan in the past to Bournemouth Council, which the Council rejected. Certainly, without a “lease dependent on funding” provided by the Council, getting through all the stages of funding has been prohibitive.
Now, however, with the possibilities that the Localism Act raises and with other parties wishing to join with the Friends in producing an updated business plan, the Council may view matters differently.
The format we have produced here in nominating the BCCA for listing as an asset of community value is in line with that produced by other Councils, however, should there be any further information Bournemouth Council requires from us, please do not hesitate to contact us by email or post.
Linda Ni’Man (on behalf of BCCA Friends)