At long last the sale of Helston's former community centre has been completed.

It has taken more than four years but there are new owners of 3 Penrose Road, also known as the Passmore Edwards Institute in recognition of its benefactor.

The sale was completed on Monday this week, on schedule.

In a statement issued on behalf of Helston Town Council by members Sue Swift and Keith Reynolds, they said: “As authorised representative of Helston Town Council dealing with the sale of 3 Penrose Road, we are pleased to advise that the sale was completed today Monday 20th August 2012. We wish the new purchaser every success.”

The building was bought jointly by Sir Nicholas Serota - director of the Tate art gallery in London - and his wife Teresa Gleadowe of Porthallow, together with Karen Townshend, of Kestle Barton near Manaccan, for £165,000.

Speaking on behalf of the trio Ms Gleadowe said: “We are delighted that the Passmore Edwards Institute will continue to be an asset for Helston and the surrounding areas rather than passing into the hands of a private developer.”

She said they were in the process of forming a Trust to own the building, which will be called the Cornubian Arts and Science Trust, or CAST, with Cornubia the old Latin name for Cornwall. “We hope that the institute will be able to offer cultural, educational and social opportunities that are not at present available in Helston and the Lizard area.

“In the first place rooms in the building will be offered as studio spaces for artists and makers at rental rates comparable with those of other studio complexes - in Newlyn, St Ives and Redruth - and we hope that artists and makers will be interested to come and work in the building and contribute to the life of the town.

“In due course we hope also to be able to offer other amenities including a café and spaces for meetings, talks and classes, but first we have the task of making the building safe and watertight. “We have managed to secure the building, but we now have to fund raise and seek grants for repairs and renovations.

“We very much hope that we shall have the support of the community in this task and that the Institute will in due course bring substantial public benefit to the town.”

Contracts were exchanged in July, after Helston Town Council agreed to rescind a contract made with John Stansbury at auction on November 4 last year, as he had failed to complete the sale even with an extension of time.

Helston Town Council had first suggested selling the building back in 2008, prompting 400 protestors to gather. It closed as a community centre at the end of February last year.