Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Have your say on the future use of Houghton Regis Community Centre

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

We've launched a consultation on the future use of Bedford Square Community Centre in Houghton Regis.

The venue is currently being used to provide education for young people with special educational needs in the daytime, and by community groups during evenings and weekends and school holidays.

This is a temporary arrangement that was put into place urgently after a previous education provider went into administration over the summer, leaving vulnerable learners without a place to learn.

We want to hear feedback on the proposed long-term arrangements. It is our preference that the venue continues to be used to provide the education support for young people with special educational needs and be available for community use in the evenings, weekends and school holidays.

Councillor Ghent, our Executive Member for Housing and Assets, said:

The community centre in Bedford Square has provided a vital lifeline for vulnerable young people who would have otherwise been left without anywhere to learn. I know some people have been concerned that this would mean the centre is no longer available for community use – that’s not the case. The centre was previously underused and many of the previous users are continuing to use the community centre in the evenings or weekends.

We have to balance the sometimes-competing needs of different communities and vulnerable groups. We know that providing continuity and consistency to the vulnerable young people is hugely important and so is having access to community space for local residents to use.

Our analysis shows there are a number of other facilities available nearby the community centre that are also available for hire, as well as a new space soon to open at All Saints View, and we believe there is sufficient community space locally that we can accommodate the education provision in the centre and meet the needs of the community for community space.

Before we make a decision on this, we want to hear local residents’ views on this proposal.

The consultation is open until Wednesday 8 December.

Find out how to have your say.