Flitwick Town Council has completed the purchase of the Barclays Bank building and frontage in the centre of town and is now the proud owner of this prime public space for the community to enjoy.
It was just over three months ago that the Council first announced it was investigating the purchase of the property in Station Road when it was put on the market by its private owner in July.
The Council said preserving the frontage as a community space for future generations was its number one priority.
Now that the space is in public ownership, it will provide a central focal point for entertainment and community events as well as a place to sit and meet in the town.
Town Mayor, Cllr Andy Snape, said:
“This is an amazing opportunity for Flitwick Town Council to develop the frontage into a public space that will become a central hub for the whole community.
“We viewed it as a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure a valuable community benefit and were determined to mitigate the risk of the property being taken over by a private developer and converted to residential use.
“When we announced our intention to pursue the purchase, we received overwhelmingly positive feedback about the prospect from residents. Our recent resident survey highlighted the lack of public space and a focus area in the town centre.
“We will now work together with residents to ensure that the space is utilised to its full potential, and we are looking forward to the first community event, which will be a special Christmas Lights Switch On at the end of November.”
Barclays Bank has a lease on the building until 2026, and the Council is looking forward to seeing the bank continue to provide a banking service in the town.
A Public Works Loan has funded the purchase of the property. The Council added that this purchase will have no impact on the precept for Flitwick residents.