Fears that a former Salvation Army base could be turned into a housing development have been quelled after its new owner.
Liz Raba will be running the historic Albert Street property – which sits in the middle of the Tring Triangle conservation area – as a community arts and family education centre.
It will be used to allow people to share skills and work together on community projects.
Liz, who since 2010 has run Tring’s Court Youth Theatre, said: “A big emphasis on hands on learning, working across generations and being creative.”
The Gazette reported in February that many were concerned that the redevelopment of the property could bring parking problems to the area. But it is thought that this is now unlikely to happen.
Liz said: “That lovely old Salvation Army Hall on Albert Street has just become our new home. We will running it as a Community Arts and Education Centre.
“From forest school experiences and film and arts tuition to a youth news desk and cross generation projects, we’ll have it all there. Thanks to all that have made us feel so welcome.”
The last members of the Salvation Army moved out in July 2011 and sold the hall, but the building has stood empty until Liz moved in last week.
Sharon King was the last Salvation Army officer based in Tring, and said she was sad to leave such a tight-knit community after eight years.
Sharon, who now lives in Essex, is still heavily involved with the Christian charity and says it was ultimately the size of the congregation which led to the group’s closure.
She said: “The congregation got older – we were down to about 12 – and it was getting more and more difficult for them to make it to the hall.”
The Salvation Army then moved out of the property and sold it.
To learn more about Liz’s plan for the base, contact her on 07946 494919 or firstname.lastname@example.org