Youth centre's plans hit by cash glitch?

EXCITING plans to redevelop and expand Portishead's Youth Centre may have hit a temporary glitch - because of a shortfall in funding

EXCITING plans to redevelop and expand Portishead's Youth Centre may have hit a temporary glitch - because of a shortfall in funding.Bosses at the Harbour Road centre announced this week they were ready to start work on the first phase of the £2million development of the centre after securing £560,000 of funding.The youth centre redevelopment committee had estimated the costs of the first phase at £580,000 and said, once work had started, they were confident the rest of the funds would follow.But North Somerset Council, which has taken over the project management of the centre, says the committee did not budget properly for the first phase.Council chiefs say no real contingency fund had been included in the budget and said the real cost of the work would be £640,000 - which currently leaves the youth centre £80,000 short.The first phase of the work would see the entrance to the building remodelled with a new terrace, kitchen, reception, admin and cafe area.Other areas, including the hall and computer area will also be upgraded.North Somerset Council principal youth worker Tim Blasdale said: "The council is managing the project on behalf of the youth club management committee and we feel there is not sufficient money in place to start the project."We have to make sure there is enough funds to cover the costs of the work and for contingency."It only takes a couple of problems to be found for the costs to soar."The management committee was confident that once the work had started additional funds would be found to cover the shortfall."This is not something the council would take a risk on."We have budgeted the scheme, including contingency, at £640,000, which technically leaves the management committee a substantial amount short of the overall cost.Mr Blasdale said he was 'reasonably confident' that the money could be found and that sources were currently being investigated.Portishead Youth Centre Redevelopment Committee chairman Bishop Roger Sainsbury said: "Some of the grant money has been allocated for this financial year, so we would like to get the project underway before it ends."We are delighted that North Somerset Council has appointed a project manager."As a committee we have been applying for extra funds and are submitting applications to a number of trusts and organisations."The young people at the centre have been involved in putting the applications together.