Community group completes take-over of Fairycroft House in Saffron Walden from council
Fairycroft House in Saffron Walden has changed ownership following the completion of the council's sale of the 19th century building to a community group.
The Fairycroft House Community Interest Company, who had been leasing the property from Essex County Council for a range of activities for young people, have finally secured the purchase after raising the necessary funds.
The company established the Fairycroft House Arts and Media Centre in Audley Road, specifically based around promoting and supporting performing arts in the district.
Tim Atkinson, director of Fairycroft House Community Interest Company, said: “We are absolutely delighted that we have been able to purchase Fairycroft House and are determined to make it a facility that the whole community can be proud of.
“We would like to thank everyone that has supported us through this process especially the fantastic work of Uttlesford District Council and their leader Howard Rolfe as well as Essex County Council for having the vision to see what we are trying to achieve.
“A lot of money and hard work has gone into the project so far and this will continue as we move forwards.”
Councillor David Finch, leader of Essex County Council, said: “The work that Tim Atkinson and his team have been doing at Fairycroft House over the past couple of years has been excellent, and is a great example of the community coming together to provide services away from those offered by the council.
“As with all of our properties, we have to look at the most appropriate way of managing their future, and continuing to lease this property out on a short term basis was not a cost-effective option.
“I have however, always supported the idea of the community group purchasing the property, and we have extended the lease over the last few months to allow them time to acquire funding, and I am delighted they have been able to do this.
“Owning the property will now give them the opportunity to develop their offer further.”
Councillor Howard Rolfe, leader of Uttlesford District Council, said: “The Fairycroft House Arts and Media Centre already provides a home for a range of creative activities and now that their future is secured we are excited about the opportunities that will be on offer at the centre, and the benefits to the community and particularly our young people.”