A ‘VALUE for money’ report will be produced by Holmes Chapel Parish Council annually into the authority’s ownership of the community centre.

The inaugural report says HCPC should start to receive its share of the centre’s ‘surplus’ in 2025 — two years later than initially projected.

The report and subsequent commitment was made last Thursday (February 11) at a meeting of the parish council’s Amenities Committee, and was prompted by a ‘concerned local resident’, who raised concerns over HCPC’s £1.15 million spend on the centre.

They told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “It seems that [HCPC] have spent an excessive amount of money on it. It strikes me as a white elephant.

“It is the sort of facility that a much larger town could have.

“I do not think it is a sound use of taxpayers’ money. I am not sure that villagers were ever told that it would just become a money pit. It seems never ending.”

The report shows that £1,151,199 has been spent on the centre by HCPC, including the cost of purchasing the facility in 2015.

The report also identifies that the centre’s gym has attracted more than 1,200 paying members — two-thirds of which are from Holmes Chapel, according to HCPC — and revenue generated by the village’s rugby club.

It says: “In July 2014, following extensive public consultation and the overwhelming positive support from the community, the Parish Council unanimously agreed to put in a bid to Sanofi to purchase the former AP Club site on behalf of the community and to secure a government loan to fund the purchase…

“Value for money can only be measured by the use the buildings and facilities receive from residents and others, such as the HC Rugby Club. Everybody Sport & Recreation is responsible for managing these and the PC can only act in an advisory capacity.

“There is a clause in the lease that says that when the centre starts to show a surplus, a share will be returned to the PC for use on other projects within the parish. The original payback period before a surplus was expected was 8 years from the initial centre opening in 2015. With the recent closure, it is likely that this may now be 10 years.”