Youth centre refurbishment to start soon

WORK is at last expected to begin on the long-awaited youth centre refurbishment project in Portishead. The first phase of the £1 million redevelopment of the Harbour Road site has been given the green light and will include the refurbishment of the

WORK is at last expected to begin on the long-awaited youth centre refurbishment project in Portishead.

The first phase of the £1 million redevelopment of the Harbour Road site has been given the green light and will include the refurbishment of the centre's media suite and improvements to the parents' and children's facilities.

The centre, which is home to Portishead Youth Club, is also used by mother and toddler groups, Dynamic FM radio station and Woodspring Caring Club.

The work, has been delayed for months, but is due to start early next year.


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Chairman of the redevelopment committee, Bishop Roger Sainsbury, said: "Having been given assurances by officers of North Somerset Council that the finance is now available, the management committee of Portishead Youth Centre has agreed unanimously to move forward with phase one of the £1 million development.

"We are delighted with this good news and hope it adds to the Christmas cheer of the people, particularly the youth of Portishead."

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The building, originally built in 1965, is in desperate need of modernisation and it is hoped that work on the second phase of the redevelopment will also begin in 2008. Phase two involves the building of a new entrance to the centre, a new coffee bar facilities and an arts and crafts area.

More than £835,000 has already been raised for the work and fund-raising will continue towards the £1 million target.

The money raised so far includes £164,000 from local fundraising, £335,000 from an agreement with developers to provide improvements to the site, £100,000 from Portishead and North Weston Town Council and substantial grants from the Youth Capital Fund and Children's Centre Fund.

Cash has also been pledged from the sale of the local authority's council houses.

Funded by North Somerset Council, but managed by a private management committee, Portishead Youth Centre provides a wide range of facilities and activities for young people and community groups in the town.

The management committee is currently seeking a new secretary and treasurer so if anyone in the community could spare a few hours a month to help, the youth centre would be very pleased to hear from you on 01275 842461.

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