A NEW community centre is planned for Holmes Chapel following an agreement between the Parish Council and the building’s former owners.

The council has announced that it has successfully exchanged contracts with Sanofi, and will reopen the site following extensive refurbishment, in time for an autumn opening.

The new community centre will continue to provide sports, leisure and recreational facilities which can be accessed by residents in Holmes Chapel.

Cllr Brian Bath, lead on the project, said: “This is a very exciting time for Holmes Chapel. The community centre is going to give us much needed extra space for all of the clubs and organisations in need in the village as well as additional sports facilities which have sadly been needed for a long long time.

“We would also like give Holmes Chapel Rugby Club the chance to return to their former glory. As well as this, the local football club has also told us that they will have up to 16 teams next year covering all ages. The new centre will be able to provide them with all of the showering and changing facilities that they desperately need.”

The council is hoping that the new centre will be able to house a variety of clubs and societies in Holmes Chapel, including a 200 capacity temporary cinema.

Steve Ranger, chairman of Holmes Chapel Parish Council said “This offers a wonderful opportunity for Holmes Chapel to develop a fine community facility serving the needs of all ages and interests. I would like to thank Sanofi for their cooperation throughout the sale process; they have shown true community spirit in facilitating the transfer of the Club to the community and thus ensuring a lasting reminder of their company’s support for Holmes Chapel.”

A redevelopment programme and other arrangements are now being finalised for the club, and the council will be asking for residents’ help on deciding the name.

Jean Stephenson, Site Director for the Holmes Chapel Sanofi site, said: “I am so delighted that we have been able to agree the sale of this valuable community asset to the local community. As Holmes Chapel continues to grow, the community centre will provide much needed sport, leisure and social facilities benefitting the health and wellbeing of those that will use it; this has been a compelling reason for us to work closely with the Holmes Chapel Parish Council to achieve this wonderful outcome. We wish this venture a very successful future. “