A CHARITY fears it will miss out on nearly half a million pounds to refurbish a building - which was dependent on securing a lease - after Ealing council reneged on extending its contract.
Impact Theatre Company, for people with learning disabilities, was based at Hanwell Community Centre, but due to refurbishment works the group moved to the Stirling Road Day Centre, in South Acton, in March 2009.
Impact secured £422,000 from the Social Enterprise Investment Fund provided it could gain a 15-year lease for the site. But the council is now looking to sell the site, which has angered and worried the group.
Impact director Amanda Braggins said: "The council were wholeheartedly behind us developing the site and knew in March we needed a 15-year lease to be offered the money.
"It's crazy they're not allowing us to inject £422,000 into one of their buildings, especially now budgets are being tightened.
"We would have taken over the repair costs and applied for more money as this is a great place for the community and our service users.
"We don't know where we will go after our current lease expires in March 2011."
The Social Enterprise Investment Fund has said it will extend the deadline to allow for the next Ealing cabinet meeting on July 20, which is due to discuss the lease for Stirling Road Day Centre and Impact chief hope the council will re-think and grant the 15-year lease.
Julian Hillman, director of Mencap, said: "Impact Theatre is a very successful company providing opportunities for dozens of people with learning disabilities to put on shows and help out with costumes, props, design and film-making.
"To lose the opportunity to take the building on and invest more than £400,000 is criminal and needs to be looked at.
"This sort of money does not come every day of the week and anything
which undermines long-term development is not in the best interest of people in the borough."
An Ealing Council spokeswoman said: "The Impact Outreach Network provides an important service to some of the most vulnerable people in the community and we're keen to continue to work with them to try to find a suitable permanent home.
"The building is on a 1960s industrial estate and is in real need of sig
"So far, the charity hasn't been able to demonstrate how it would meet costs of repairs and maintenance if they were there in the long-term.
"We have offered the group the potential alternative of Greenford Hall, where we are about to invest £1million to improve facilities, and have offered to modify our plans for the building to better meet the group's needs."