Queen Mary Centre open for business

Clllrs LtoR, Simon King and Sam Hoy in front of the Queen Mary Centre Wisbech''Missing from pic Cllr Steve Tierney''www.fenlandcitizen.co.uk/buyaphoto
Clllrs LtoR, Simon King and Sam Hoy in front of the Queen Mary Centre Wisbech''Missing from pic Cllr Steve Tierney''www.fenlandcitizen.co.uk/buyaphoto
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THE Queen Mary Centre in Wisbech could be one step closer to being saved from closure after three councillors volunteered to help.

Cllrs Simon King, Steve Tierney and Samantha Hoy have volunteered to open the centre at weekends and in the evenings so more bookings can be accommodated.

County Councillor Steve Tierney.

County Councillor Steve Tierney.

Cllr King is hoping it will aid a plan for the community to take over the centre once Cambs County Council stops running it next year.

“We are looking into if the community could take it over,” Cllr King said. “We would have to put together a viable business plan and if people are being turned away over a year before the centre is to close, it makes a business case much harder.”

The team at the Queen Mary Centre have been turning down weekend and evening bookings for about a year. Some events have been able to take place if staff have been available to open up the centre, but a change of staffing has made this difficult.

The three councillors have now become keyholders for the centre, meaning there will be more opportunities for people to rent the space.

Cllr Tierney said: “For those with a cynical outlook I’d like to assure you that we are volunteering to do this for free, in our own spare time. It will mean a few extra hours a week for us looking after potential bookings, but if that means the centre can continue to be a useful venue for local people, groups and activities then we are all quite happy to do it.

“I very much hope members of the public will see this as a useful way for local county councillors to get directly involved with a problem and to provide a common sense solution to it.”

Cllr Tierney will be taking care of most of the bookings, as he lives closest, but Cllrs King and Hoy will be on hand if needed.

The Queen Mary Centre is being closed as the county council is consolidating all its assets at the College of West Anglia. If the bid to take it over is unsuccessful, the community will lose the use of the centre.

• Anyone interested in booking the Queen Mary Centre should contact 01354-750401.