New reprieve bid for Bradford on Avon youth centre
Updated 9:57am Saturday 9th August 2014 in By Katie Smith
The closure of Bradford on Avon’s Youth Centre building next week has been halted, while Wiltshire Council carries out a property review of all its youth centres.
The centre, in Frome Road, was due to close its doors on Friday, August 15.
Now, although the youth club is no longer operating, other users, including Barnardos Short Breaks, Morphew School of Ballet and Age Concern, will be able to continue until the review is complete.
Representatives from the town council, Fitzmaurice Primary School governors, the area board, Youth Advisory Group, community groups and sports clubs gathered in St Margaret’s Hall last Thursday to discuss what they could do to prevent the closure.
The town council was so keen to keep the centre open it had even offered to find up to £500 and to be keyholders, to help make that happen.
The council now says it is still interested in keeping the building open long term, but will await the outcome of Wiltshire Council’s review.
Town councillor Laurie Brown said: “As soon as a building closes, in my experience it is not long before the boards go up, the grass grows and developers come along.
“We have to get together as a town and not let it close.”
Kevin Sweeney, a senior manager from Wiltshire Council’s integrated youth service, answered questions last week regarding the youth services and said: “If other people take responsibility of the building, the question is who is the person responsible for making sure the building is safe?”
Rosemary Brown, Wiltshire Councillor for Bradford on Avon North, said: “We have to make sure the boards do not go up in September.”
Fitzmaurice School’s governors have declared an interest in taking on the building.
Their chairman Shane McCracken said: “We care about the community. We can make use of the centre as well. We are growing and always in need of more space.
“I’m told the running costs are £20,000 a year. We would be looking to see how we could run it more efficiently.”
Jim Lynch, of the Bradford on Avon Community Area Network, said: “The transition has been grievously mishandled. I believe there is a lot to play for.”
Bradford Scouts, the U3A group and others are among those understood to be keen to see the centre kept open.
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