A LAST-ditch bid to save a Boscombe arts centre from demolition has seen campaigners launch a concerted email campaign.

Councillors are being bombarded with emails urging them to reverse their decision to replace the Boscombe Centre for Community Arts (BCCA), in Haviland Road, with 11 family houses.

But council leader John Beesley, pictured below, said they would press on with their plans because they would ‘regenerate the local area’.

The emails sent to Cllr Beesley and other councillors by the Friends of the BCCA state: “This 133-year-old sound Victorian building was gifted by honourable men – notably Sir Percy Florence Shelley – to the people of Boscombe ‘forever’. It was needed then and it is most certainly needed now.”

“Saving the BCCA from demolition and allowing those from various creative industries to maximise its potential would be a lasting positive legacy from you. “Its historic value could be enhanced to bring tourists to the centre of Boscombe and thus aid to increase trade and jobs. The huge size of the BCCA provides space for an enterprise hub, a creative industries hub (including digital), a museum and heritage venue, a visitor’s centre, and community and art centre, as well as theatre and cinema space. “If, however, the BCCA is demolished our community, and not just Boscombe but the whole of Bournemouth will lose a significant opportunity.”

But Cllr Beesley said: “The development of family housing and a creative hub will do a great deal to regenerate the local area. The development would give first time buyers the chance to own their own home at an affordable price and would offer additional facilities to benefit the whole community in Boscombe.

“This is one of a number of new and important initiatives to regenerate the wider Boscombe area over the next five to 10 years.

“Housing is at the heart of establishing community ownership in Boscombe and helping younger people onto the housing ladder is a crucial part of that being successful.”