Back in 1967 the people of Pickering raised the money to provide a building for the Over 60's Club. Most of the money was raised locally and a lot of the work was done for free by local builders. At that time, the Charities Act said that the building had to be held by a charitable body - the local community turned to the WRVS (later named RVS) which it believed would be a secure owner for ever more.
Between 1967 and early 2020 the Hungate Centre was a vibrant centre for many activities and local clubs.
Unfortunately, the RVS decided that it no longer wanted to own the building just prior to the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The building closed as we went into the 1st lockdown at the end of March 2020. The Tuesday Lunch Club which was run by Daphne Bowes would have celebrated it's 25th anniversary just after that date.
RVS could simply give the building back to the community, but they insist that they must sell the Hungate Centre for full market value.
We tried to persuade RVS to let us rent the building in the summer of 2020 to enable a com munity kitchen to be set up - feeding vulnerable older people in the area but RVS refused this request.
The Hungate Centre has been registered as an Asset of Community Value (ACV).This gives the community a chance to make a bid for the Centre before anyone else can do so. However, due to many delays, and the pandemic, the formal asking price only became known on December 9th and the deadline for a community bid is January 31st 2021.
So only 7 weeks remain until any commercial offers may be lodged with RVS.
Our fear is that the Hungate Centre may end up as a car park or some other non-community use building.
Our aim is to buy the building and refurbish it - making it safe and fit for purpose in a post-covid world. We will create a new charitable body which will manage and preserve the building for the people of Pickering in perpetuity. This new body will work to welcome people back into this beloved building for all of the many creative and social activities we have been missing for so long.
Our campaign has attracted much local support and over 1,400 signatures to our online and paper petitions so far. Now, we need your financial support too.
Please help us if you can - literally every little helps!