Youth centre rebuild is delayed until 2014

First published in News

Wallingford’s new youth centre will open six months later than originally planned, it has emerged.

Earlier this year it was revealed that a new youth centre costing about £200,000 would be built in Wigod Way, instead of renovating an abandoned church in the street.

Town council leaders had planned to convert the former evangelical church into the new centre after the former youth club closed in Clapcot Way.

They then decided to demolish the church and build the new youth headquarters in its place.

But the new centre will not open until early 2014, after the county council appointed Action for Children as a new contractor to run a children’s centre from the same building.

Town councillors met county council officers at County Hall in Oxford earlier this month to discuss the project and say they are now in a position to put the contract for the new building out to tender.

Town councillor Bernard Stone said: “The county council is looking at how it can give us security for the long-term future of this building.

“Action for Children will take over the children’s services contract in April from Pact (Parents and Children Together) and as a result of this change the project will be delayed.”

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Town and county councillor Lynda Atkins said the delay would allow Action for Children to be consulted on the interior design of the new centre.

She said: “The new youth centre is where we will co-ordinate youth activities for the town and the children’s centre will support families and children in the area.

“The building work is being funded by Big Society money, developer contributions and town council capital reserves.”

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