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Future unsure for Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre
THE future of an important community facility in Craven Arms, with an iconic grass roof, is in the balance.
An attempt is being made to thrash out an agreement that would transfer the ownership of the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre.
SHDC’s advisory board has agreed in principle to hold discussions with South Shropshire Housing Association (SSHA) and its partner Grow Cook (L)Earn on the possible transfer of the Discovery Centre and neighbouring Onny Meadows to SSHA.
But any transfer would be subject to the approval of the cabinet of Shropshire Council.
Grow Cook (L)Earn is the successor to Grow Cook Share, a local food project working in the Ludlow and Craven Arms areas to support people to grow and cook their own food and to share their skills, knowledge and excess produce within the local community.
Grow Cook (L)Earn’s vision for the Discovery Centre is to ‘create a training centre for food-related employment, a leisure resource for local people and a vibrant visitor attraction demonstrating the link between food production and the landscape of the Shropshire Hills’.
It plans to run the centre as a hub enhancing visitors’ experience of the local area, providing training in the foodrelated industries, creating and supporting local jobs, supporting local businesses, and supporting spend in the local area.
The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, which was substantially funded by the Millennium Commission, was opened in 2001 as a major visitor centre for the Shropshire Hills.
The centre now includes a library, education room, craft room, art gallery, exhibition space, Shropshire Council customer service point, a café, a shop and more.
These proposed changes have emerged from a series of community and business workshops held by the Discovery Centre advisory board in November 2012.
Grow Cook (L)Earn is in the process of establishing itself as a Company Limited by Guarantee and then subsequently as a charity.
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