ePetition details

Urgent Appeal Save Community Hub

We the undersigned petition the council to remove for sale Unit 26 Wexham Business Village, Wexham Rd, Slough, SL2 5HF currently on auction due on the 21st September 2023 and have a review meeting with the current tenancy holder Blackbeard Academy Ltd (Blackbeard Community Projects CIC) to discuss viable options.

Blackbeard MMA Community Hub Faces Imminent Closure, Urgently Seeks Support to Preserve Vital Community Resource

Slough, 4th September - The Blackbeard MMA Community Hub, a beacon of hope and transformation in the Slough community, is under threat of being taken away from its users without notice. In an unexpected turn of events, the Slough Borough Council has put the beloved community hub up for bidding to private investors, without providing prior notification to the Blackbeard MMA organisation or allowing them the opportunity for first refusal. With just 20 days remaining before the building goes up for bidding, the local community is rallying together to save this vital resource.

Founded in 2010, the Blackbeard MMA Community Hub has served as a cradle of champions, nurturing, and producing skilled martial artists who have achieved excellence on national and international stages. However, the impact of the hub extends far beyond the realm of sports.

The Blackbeard Community Projects CIC, a non-profit organisation closely associated with Blackbeard MMA, is dedicated to enhancing the Slough community through a wide range of activities, workshops, and support services. These initiatives are designed to empower the local youth, equipping them with life skills, leadership training, mentoring, and the tools to overcome the challenges they may encounter in their daily lives.

"We are deeply saddened by the sudden turn of events that has put the future of the Blackbeard MMA Community Hub in jeopardy," said Nomaan Khalid at Blackbeard MMA. "Our hub is more than just a building; it is the heart and soul of our community, a place where dreams are nurtured, and lives are transformed. We have consistently strived to make a positive impact on the lives of young people in Slough, and it is disheartening to see our efforts jeopardised."

Community members and supporters of Blackbeard MMA are urgently calling for the Slough Borough Council to reconsider this decision and explore alternative solutions that will allow the hub to continue its vital work.

"We implore the Slough Borough Council to reconsider their decision to auction off our community hub," continued Nomaan Khalid "There are numerous vacant buildings in Slough, and we believe that preserving the Blackbeard MMA Community Hub would be a testament to their commitment to community development. Together, we can ensure that this valuable resource remains accessible to the people it serves."

Blackbeard MMA is urging concerned citizens, supporters, and community leaders to join them in their efforts to safeguard the future of the hub. Those interested in helping can get involved by signing petitions, raising awareness on social media, and reaching out to local officials.

For further information and to stay updated on the situation, please visit Blackbeard MMA's official website http://www.blackbeardacademy.co.uk or follow them on social media channels @blackbeardmma.

About Blackbeard MMA Community Hub:

The Blackbeard MMA Community Hub is a cornerstone of the Slough community, fostering talent, personal development, and community engagement since its inception in 2010. Through its association with Blackbeard Community Projects CIC, it continues to provide essential services, support, and opportunities for local youth and the broader community.

This ePetition ran from 14/09/2023 to 19/09/2023 and has now finished.

1564 people signed this ePetition.

Council response

The sale of this property has now completed and I believe that you have been introduced to the new owner. No doubt, you will now discuss the basis of any ongoing lease arrangements with your new landlord.

Whilst there has been dialogue between yourself and SBC, both before and during the sales process, it might be useful to summarise our response to the ePetition, to confirm closure on this case.

Unit 26 Wexham Business Village was part of SBC’s Investment Portfolio. The Council’s reason for owning it was to generate a financial return. It was leased under a commercial arrangement to a limited company (Blackbeard Academy Ltd). It is not recognised as a “Community Hub”.

The property was sold at auction on 21st September 2023, as part of Phase One of the Asset Disposal Programme, and the sale completed on 2nd November 2023.