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Bid for dream youth centre

PUBLISHED: 15:29 17 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:25 03 July 2010

AN ambitious plan to transform a youth centre has been inspired by the youngsters whose lives it has transformed.

For years the vibrant spirit at Newtown Youth Centre has not been reflected in the cramped former lorry container in which it is housed.

AN ambitious plan to transform a youth centre has been inspired by the youngsters whose lives it has transformed.

For years the vibrant spirit at Newtown Youth Centre has not been reflected in the cramped former lorry container in which it is housed.

Now that is set to be replaced with create a state of the art environmentally friendly community facility at the Jellicoe Road site.

This week saw the launch of the fundraising appeal to raise the more than £1m needed to turn the vision into a reality

A group of young people at the youth centre given responsibility for creating ideas for the building which will generate electricity from its own wind-turbine and use re-cycled water.

Architect Mike Brackenbury has been working with them creating a design for the youth centre that includes a computer room, music suite, dance floor.

Carl Harding the lead co-ordinator of the building project explained to the audience at the launch meeting the difference the youth centre has made to young people in north Yarmouth.

He said: “It gives the children a feeling of belonging identify something to latch onto, a voice and a sense that the youth centre belongs to them.

“We have reduced the number of anti-social incidents and given many children and young adults a sense of purpose. If we teach kids the value of respect in the modern sense we will get a return from that.

“Over the last 10 years we have worked tirelessly to give the children some kind of chance and we have now come to a very important crossroads in our existence -we owe it to the children and young people to bring this project to fruition.”

The youth centre has more than 200 members and relies on a dedicated team of volunteers, but is creaking at the seams and needs to provide improved facilities.

If funding can be raised the new youth centre could also be used to provide a specialist education for young people with learning and behavioural difficulties.

It is planned to make a bid to the Big Lottery fund to raise cash for the centre that could be completed by 2010.

Yarmouth MP Tony Wright said: “If we can give youngsters more to do then we can eradicate the problem of anti-social behaviour.

“I can see difference the youth centre has made to young people of that area. I believe the will and money is there for there to bring this about - it could be the catalyst for other areas within the borough.”

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