Row goes on over abandoned community centre

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The abandoned Hope Centre in Thurnscoe has STILL not been sold by its Methodist Church owners – almost a YEAR after the church evicted its charity group tenants!

Yet its would-be buyers, Resilienti, say plans to develop the old Thurnscoe Central Hall WILL go ahead.

The ex-chapel on Houghton Road has remained empty since last August.

Its last tenants – the Hope Centre volunteer community group – were forced to leave after church bosses threatened legal action if they impeded the building’s imminent sale to property developers Whiteley Group.

Whiteley – which has since changed its name to Resilienti – promised to transform the part-derelict building – into a “department store” which would bring “20 jobs” to the village.

But this week the Methodist Church confirmed it had still not finished negotiating the sale of the building.

However, Kerrie Whiteley, of Resilienti said its scheme was “with planners” and would be delivered to Barnsley Council in the “next couple of months”, adding that jobs will still be created.

Former Hope Centre leader Steve Ellis last week won a Barnsley Council Community Champion award for his efforts in the Thurnscoe community, including his battle to keep the Hope Centre open.

He said: “The church evicted the villagers because they couldn’t wait to sell the building. Well it’s been vacant for 10 months to the detriment of Thurnscoe”.