06/11/2017 – Press Release – Closure of Cherry Tree Centre
Burgess Hill Labour Party says that the 'horrendous loss' of the Cherry Tree Centre highlights the hole that the Conservative dominated District Council is leaving in Burgess Hill as a result of its town centre redevelopment. Age UK quotes the lack of central location as one reason for its closure.
By 'putting profit before the community' and not replacing the Martlets Hall complex there is a real danger that other community groups will be homeless – for example the Burgess Hill Bereavement Friendship Group with 65 members has been given notice to leave by June 2018 with no prospect of a suitable replacement and we are aware that other Community groups are under similar notice.
David Andrews, Chair of Burgess Hill Labour Party said "Whilst we welcome the Town Council's efforts to fill the gap caused by the closure of the Martlets Hall it is disappointing that money was not provided from the Town Centre Development for the provision of a replacement venue.
“Burgess Hill Labour Party demands that as a minimum the new centre must provide the same facilities as the Martlets Complex. This means meeting rooms, a large foyer and a performance space with a capacity able to attract top quality entertainment to the Town.
“Whilst acknowledging the current financial constraints we urge the Council to be ambitious. The town is expected to grow to a population of 45-50,000 within the next few years with further expansion in our surrounding Communities and we need to be looking at providing a centre which Burgess Hill can be truly proud of for the next 50 years.
“It needs to serve all sections and interests in the Community and provide meeting space for all the groups serving the needs of our older people in one central place. Surely money which should be coming from all the new housing can provide us with what we want".