Sale of Woodfarm Centre to be thrashed out

editorial image

Council chiefs will thrash out an off-market sale of the Woodfarm Education Centre.

It means that a 125-year lease between East Renfrewshire Council and the Woodfarm Educational Trust will be ripped-up just six years into the agreement.

The Trust will now take full ownership of the site after investing thousands into transforming the building since 2012.

And bosses will pay the local authority £20,000 as a standard security which will secure the future use of the facility as a ‘multicultural centre’.

Andrew Cahill, the council’s director of environment, said: “The current lease enables the council to retain control over the permitted use of the building with clauses of restriction and a means to enforce any breach.

“Selling the landlord’s interest brings the lease to an end and removes that control and leaves only planning legislation to limit change of use.

“However, the introduction of a standard security provides the council with a means to control a multicultural centre use restriction similar to that enjoyed with the lease.

“Any change in use will give rise to a further payment to the council.”

In October 2009, council chiefs agreed to lease the former Woodfarm Sports Centre to the Trust for 20 years.

That lease was extended to 125 years after three years when the Trust paid the council £170,000.

Since 2012, the Trust have invested thousands in transforming the building from being in a state of disrepair to one which is highly regarded in the community.

The council has also granted planning permission for the centre to be extended and the trustees are now raising money for that work to begin.

Trust bosses have been finding that process difficult as they have to continue paying the lease while simultaneously trying to raise cash.

And they have asked the council to bring forward the transfer of ownership of the building from 2114 to now.

The district valuer who carried out a valuation of the site, has reported that it is worth £450,000.

As part of the deal, the use of the facility will have to remain as a “multicultural centre” or the Trust will be liable to make a further payment to the council.

A deal is expected to be concluded by the beginning of next year.