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Big day dawns for youth centre dream

PUBLISHED: 11:01 08 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:07 03 July 2010

Dominic Bareham

CONTRACTORS visited the site of a Great Yarmouth youth centre this week as plans for a new, more modern building moved into top gear.

Dean Dixon, business development manager at Portable Offices, arrived at Newtown Youth Centre in Jellicoe Road on Wednesday, January 6 to look at land to the north of the existing centre where the new state-of-the-art facility will be built.

CONTRACTORS visited the site of a Great Yarmouth youth centre this week as plans for a new, more modern building moved into top gear.

Dean Dixon, business development manager at Portable Offices, arrived at Newtown Youth Centre in Jellicoe Road on Wednesday, January 6 to look at land to the north of the existing centre where the new state-of-the-art facility will be built.

He joined delighted youth centre volunteers and borough councillor Paul Garrod, who have been fighting to secure funding for the new centre for years.

On Wednesday, January 6, centre secretary Carl Harding said: “Today's the day that a cherry has been placed on top of the pie because this is the start of it. We are taking the first step towards our new building today.

“If all goes according to plan the new building should be erected by early April so today's a really exciting day as all the hard work that the kids and volunteers have put in is starting to come to fruition.”

The new centre will measure 17m x 8m and will sit on the opposite side of the basketball court to the current building, which has been created from a ship's container and is too cramped, posing a health and safety risk if too many children have to squeeze inside in bad weather.

However, only eight weeks a new building looked like being a dream only when the youth centre lost out in a head to head TV phone vote for £50,000 of People's Millions money.

But just weeks later, the lottery funders did a U-turn and decided to give award the money to the Newtown Centre anyway. And Great Yarmouth Borough Council chipped in with a further £10,000.

The boost was an early Christmas present and brought much needed cheer after the centre's volunteers had to deal with an arson attack and burglary which had destroyed much of the centre's equipment in October - leaving its young members relying on the People's Millions fund.


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