THE haze of uncertainty has ended for a community centre that feared it was in danger of being ‘left in limbo’ for several years – after volunteers were offered a new site.

A petition to save the Maidenhead Community Centre (MCC) managed to change the Royal Borough Council’s mind from temporarily moving volunteers to the Desborough Suite in the  town hall – which was deemed ‘inadequate’.

The volunteer-run centre, currently on York Road, will permanently move to 4 Marlow Road, Maidenhead instead of the significantly smaller Suite.

Four Marlow Road has over 6,000 sqft of space – which is double than the temporary venue – 15 car parking space, and ‘good’ transport connections.

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The community centre was earmarked for relocation to make way for 51 homes as part of the regeneration of Maidenhead town centre.

The petition – which had garnered nearly 1,600 signatures – demanded the council to reconsider their suggestion to temporarily move the volunteers to the Desborough Suite as it had insignificant space and would leave the users ‘in limbo’ for several years, according to the trustee of the centre and petition leader Jack Douglas.

Originally, volunteers were to move into Desborough Suite in October until a new site was built – which would’ve taken until 2023 at the earliest to be constructed.

Speaking at the full council meeting on September 28 (Monday), Mr Douglas said: “We considered this a generous offer in the circumstances, however, after careful thought, we also considered that it would likely have resulted in the destruction of the services we provide.”

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The move to Marlow Road was called a “leap forward” for the volunteers by councillor David Coppinger (Conservative: Bray), lead member for planning, as the current building is “run down”.

As MCC is “100 per cent volunteer-run”, councillor Donna Stimson (Conservative: St Mary’s), lead member for climate change, feared the chances of losing those volunteers are “pretty high” if the council moved them to the Desborough Suite.

Although the relocation was welcomed, the opposition questioned why it took so long with two petitions to address this issue, calling it “shameful” and “sad”.

Opposition councillors questioned if the decision to move MCC to Marlow Road would affect the consultation to bring youth services into a family hub model – fearing it could trigger a judicial review.

Kevin McDaniel, director of children services, said there’s no need to restart the consultation as it is live, and the relocation decision will feed into the proposal report of the implementation of family hubs.