Youth centre project moves forward

PUBLISHED: 15:04 08 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:32 25 May 2010

PORTISHEAD could see the opening of a seven-day-a-week youth café in 2010 if current plans go ahead.

PORTISHEAD could see the opening of a seven-day-a-week youth café in 2010 if current plans go ahead.

After a long wait that led to young people in the town questioning whether the youth centre would ever get the 21st century makeover it was promised, a new phase of the redevelopment has been agreed.

The management committee has spent years raising money by through grant aid and fundraising events to modernise the 1960's Harbour Road building.

Financial support has also been received from local businesses, community groups and 106 money from developers has also been agreed.

Phase one of the refurbishment, completed last year, included new toilets, baby changing facilities, a counselling room and a revamp of the recording studio, plus new lights and a lick of paint for the dance studio.

Now, a complete makeover of the coffee bar area has been given the green light, giving it the potential to operate as a self contained venture outside youth club hours.

The work will be largely funded by YANSEC (Yanley and North Somerset Environmental Company) and is expected to begin within months.

Portishead has a range of clubs and sporting groups for young people but the town's youngsters say that apart from the youth club, which is open four evenings a week, there is nowhere for them to just hang out and socialise.

Darryl Hockings, aged 16 of Blackdown Road, said: "Young people in Portishead just want somewhere to meet up with friends.

"We don't always want organised activities so a youth café open at weekends would be brilliant."

Chairman of Portishead Youth Centre Management Committee Roz Cruse confirmed the coffee bar refurbishment is imminent and said further improvements are expected later in the year.

Mrs Cruse said: "We are working with North Somerset Council to agree the next phase of the redevelopment which will include an overhaul of the multi-use hall and a new entrance that will make the building look more inviting."

The Harbour Road facility, used as a community centre as well as a youth club, will continue to be open as usual for the foreseeable future.

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