Report by James Franklin , Reporter
Friday, June 15, 2012
WESTON’S Barcode Youth Café could be upping sticks for a new home in the town centre.
Weston Town Council is currently in discussions with the YMCA over an agreement that would see the popular facility move to the youth organisation’s base in Bristol Road Lower.
The YMCA has had an application to extend the building to accommodate a new café, kitchen, fitness suite and multi-use hall approved by North Somerset Council and could share it with Barcode from autumn 2014 onwards.
That means the current Barcode building in South Parade would be vacant for a year until the town council’s lease runs out in 2015, and could be available for use by community groups.
The town council’s community services committee discussed the plan at its meeting on Monday, and agreed discussions between the two organisations should continue.
Speaking at Monday’s meeting, town clerk Malcolm Nicholson said: “This is an opportunity to secure the long-term future of Barcode but at the same time achieve savings to the public purse while working in partnership with the YMCA.
“It does have the advantage over Barcode of the rest of the building, which includes a sports hall.”
With the YMCA having received a substantial grant to renovate its headquarters, the agreement could see the body use Barcode as its home while the work is carried out.
With work set to begin in March or April next year, the renovations would take between 12 and 16 months.
After the work is completed, Barcode could then move to the new premises and be rebranded Barcode at the Y.
The YMCA proposals also include nine self-contained flats to provide ‘move-on’ accommodation for young people, new toilets, a changing room and a disabled platform lift.
One objection has been raised to the proposals by the owner of a neighbouring business, who is concerned about youngsters congregating in the street outside the YMCA.
Councillor Peter Crew added: “With the youth service the way it is currently, I think this is a good news story that would secure a good future for this service in the town centre.”