MP backs Five Acres community campaign
CAMPAIGNERS hoping to save Gloucestershire College's Five Acres for community use have been boosted by the backing of MP Mark Harper.
He has thrown his weight behind the Five Acres Not For Sale (FANS) campaign, just days before a public meeting to discuss the fate of the site.
Gloucestershire College want to move from the Coleford site to a purpose-built campus in Cinderford's Northern Quarter by 2015.
One possibility being aired is that Lakers School, which shares the Five Acres site, could take on the sixth form centre.
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Many residents have said they want to see adult learning facilities and a theatre retained on site for community use.
Mr Harper said: "I am supportive of the aims of preserving community facilities at the Five Acres site and encouraging development of a 21st century community hub with facilities for education, sports, local business and the community.
"I have encouraged Gloucestershire College to keep an open dialogue with FANS and I hope this will be useful over the coming months."
In June, 400 banner-waving protestors marched in the streets against the move of the college site from Coleford to Cinderford.
But now the FANS group say they will concentrate on bringing new further education facilities to Five Acres.
They will once again air their views on Thursday at a public consultation meeting at Berry Hill Rugby Club from 5.30pm until 8.30pm.
FANS chairman Jamie Elsmore said: "Having the backing of our MP confirms the ethos we hold dear, which is that community facilities are there for the residents of the wider area, and should remain so.
"Our meeting on Thursday will form part of the vital evidence we need to take our campaign forward so we are hoping for a good turn out."