IT IS hoped a row over the future of the Riverside Centre could be resolved in a matter of weeks.
As previously reported, Isle of Wight Council plans to nearly double the Newport centre’s rent caused outrage among centre users when they were announced last year and sparked fears services would be cut.
County Hall threatened to increase the annual rent from £54,000 to as much as £100,000 and demanded more than £360,000 in outstanding rent and salary costs be repaid to the authority.
However, the trust body which manages the Riverside Centre — a lifeline for many disability and community groups — has disputed the council’s right to hold on to its deeds.
It also claims any money it owed should be offset against transport costs totalling £262,000, incurred from providing transport for Riverside users on behalf of the council.
Following an agreement to settle the row through local mediation, rather than the more costly option of official arbitration, it is hoped a solution can be drawn up within two weeks, Riverside Centre manager Richard Priest said this week.