Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Time is ticking on offer to revamp Masters House, Trinity Road, Sheerness

Sheerness Town Council has been given until September to decide if it wants to be part of a £1 million make-over of the Island’s historic Masters House - or lose the money.

Sheppey’s Oasis Academy has offered to stump up the cash to renovate the former offices of Sheerness Urban District Council in Trinity Road, Sheerness.

Masters House, Trinity Road, Sheerness
Masters House, Trinity Road, Sheerness

It wants to use money from its charitable trust to save the building from decay, develop it for the community and explore adding affordable accommodation to attract key workers to the Island.

It first announced its intention in December but says no one from the town council has responded.

At a video meeting between Oasis and three councillors earlier this month, Oasis founder the Rev Steve Chalke warned: “We have been talking to Swale council for 18 months about the future of Masters House. If Sheerness council doesn’t want to be part of this, we will have to look elsewhere.

“It would be neglect and bad leadership on our part not to put a deadline on this. We need a timetable by September 1.”

The Academy was given the cash to spend on “non-educational” items by the Roger de Haan Charitable Trust.

"We don’t want to muscle in and take control but we have an opportunity to invest."

The idea of investing the money in Masters House was suggested by Sheppey county councillor Ken Pugh.

Mr Chalke stressed: “We don’t want to muscle in and take control but we have an opportunity to invest.

“One of the problems Sheppey has is attracting professionals like teachers and health staff to live and work on the Island. Masters House is pretty well derelict. It needs around £300,000 work spent on its roof, windows and heating. We could invest in that and with the remaining £600,000 kit it out so key workers could live upstairs.

“It would be an incentive for people to come to the Island. Downstairs could be a community hub for a toy or clothes banks or a meeting place for young mums. There is no reason why Sheerness Town Council can’t remain there. There may be a way of us working together to help improve the community we love.”

But he added: “The longer the building is left, the worse its condition will get. To leave it is neglect.”

Town councillors Chris Reed, Lee McCall and Amanda Green took part in the meeting and confirmed the Oasis offer had not been discussed by the council. But they promised to put it on the agenda of this Monday’s meeting.

A spokesman for the town council said there was “no comment” as it was a “sensitive matter.”

The town council has already lodged an “expression of interest” in taking over the building and has requested an asset transfer from Swale council.

In a letter to Swale council, town chairman Matt Brown said: “It is an asset bought by ratepayers many years ago. It is considered a public asset and should, in our view, remain so.”

Read more: All the latest news from Sheppey

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More