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Booze licence bid for Leigh community centre
WEDDING receptions, birthday parties and concerts could soon be regular features at Leigh ’s community centre.
The town council has applied for a licence to sell alcohol for 15 hours a day and host a range of events, including music gigs, dance performances, exhibitions and farmer’s markets.
The application has been lodged with Southend Council and would cover early morning markets and events starting at 9am through to midnight for later performances and parties.
Carole Mulroney, chairman of Leigh Town Council, said: “This is an essential part of running the centre.
“The town council is mindful of its neighbours and it is hoped the people of Leigh will be 100 per cent behind the council’s aims.
“The licence will cover the use of a temporary bar during special occasions, including performances and dances, and will allow the centre to stay open until midnight.”
Richard Herbert, town councillor and member of the Leigh community centre working party group, said the council was “very excited” about taking over the management of the centre and was keen to make it the heartbeat of the community.
He said: “To meet the needs of the widest range of community activities, careful consideration has gone into the licensing of the venue.
“There is no intention to have a fixed bar within the centre, but the town council wanted to allow flexibility for these special functions and performances.
“We are looking forward to making it a venue that all can enjoy for a variety of occasions.”
Resident Susan Jeffs, 64, of Victor Drive, Leigh, likes the idea. She said: “At least they are doing something with it and keeping the community in mind.
“It will be a place for people to hold their events and I am glad the council is looking forward and seeing what it can do.”
However, Jo Dooley, who lives next to the town council offices in Elm Road, added: “I do not like the idea of lots of noise or people coming and going from the community centre.”
Residents have three weeks to express their views on the issue. If there are any objections, officials will set a date for a hearing.
It is expected the community centre will be open in September.
LEIGH Town Council is expected to sign the lease for the community centre at the end of the month.
Following a positive public consultation in March and April, councillors decided to take overall control of the centre. Residents will need to pay an extra £5 per household per year to help the council maintain the centre.
The historic building, built in 1914, is being used by Southend Adult Community College, which will move into Belfairs High School next month.
Once opened in September, it is hoped the two-storey building will be used by community groups, clubs and residents for a range of activities.