The former premises of a Suffolk art club could be sold on the open market amid concerns taxpayers would have to foot the cost of roof repairs.

On Wednesday (April 17), town councillors in Woodbridge were due to discuss the situation with the building at 15 Tide Mill Way, which used to be home to Woodbridge Art Club.

The club has now moved to different venues after its lease expired on March 31 and having been told that it would not be able to renew as the primary leaseholder as the town council sought to make the venue available for other community organisations.

READ MORE: Woodbridge Art Club's lease at Tide Mill Way is set to expire

However, councillors were set to decide on Wednesday whether to pursue the preferred option recommended by the council's property working party to sell the building.

In minutes prepared for the meeting, the council revealed the cost of the roof repairs was likely to be between £60,000 and £100,000 and that no funds had been allocated for these works in the 2024/25 budget.

The possibility of taking out a loan to cover the cost was suggested, but the minutes added: "The downside of this approach is that the building itself would be unlikely to generate the revenue to cover the loan repayments and the taxpayer would be responsible via the precept." 

READ MORE: Therese Coffey responds over future of Woodbridge Art Club

The preferred option was therefore to sell and a 28-day consultation would then take place setting out the council's business case and inviting the public to comment.

The premises could still be secured for use by community groups by means of a covenant - or written agreement between the council and the buyer - imposed on any sale.

In November, the EADT revealed the club's 'deep sadness' as members took part in their final sessions at the Tide Mill Way building, before the club's different sections - including photographers and lacemakers - moved to other venues in Woodbridge and Felixstowe.

READ MORE: Suffolk art club 'stunned' by council's lease decision

At the time, the club's chair Jean Maxwell said members hoped to eventually return to the Tide Mill Way venue, if necessary by renting a space each week.

She added: "So, for now, dispersed and fractured we may be, but not destroyed and we continue to hope for resurrection in the place by the estuary we have loved and maintained for so long."

READ MORE: Woodbridge news