Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Stowmarket: Tour round £5m The Mix youth centre reveals wealth of facilities

19:00 13 March 2014

Site visit of The Mix £5million youth centre in Stowmarket.

Site visit of The Mix £5million youth centre in Stowmarket.

Youngsters have been able to get a first look at a new £5million youth centre, dedicated to providing world-class facilities for 11-19 year-olds.

shares
Site visit of The Mix £5million youth centre in Stowmarket.Site visit of The Mix £5million youth centre in Stowmarket.

Featuring a recording studio, cafe, media suite, art studio and performance hall, The Mix, in Stowmarket, offers services and equipment like no other centre in Suffolk, according to its executive manager Leah Kurta.

The 28-year-old says the centre will act as a voice for youngsters while at the same time championing their aspirations.

“It’s for them to have their own place; it’s here to provide some support and structure for what they can do but ultimately it’s about having world-class facilities and to recognise what they do and want to do in the future,” she said.

Suffolk County Council, which oversaw the construction of The Mix, has allocated a five-year grant for the centre which was built using a multi-million pound Government grant.

Site visit of The Mix £5million youth centre in Stowmarket. Pictured is executive manager Leah Kurta.Site visit of The Mix £5million youth centre in Stowmarket. Pictured is executive manager Leah Kurta.

But The Mix, which is also for adults up to 25 with additional needs, will need a “base level” of funding after the grant finishes of £250,000 a year.

Miss Kurta said: “We have got a five-year grant from the council until 2018 but it does not cover all overheads so even from year one we have to raise rents. The facilities need to generate funds to sustain themselves – they do not need to make a profit but long-term they need to generate income.”

Already the centre is offering companies the use of its extensive facilities and is considering hosting concerts within its hall which has capacity for 150 standing and more than 60 seated.

Centre membership will start next month in an effort to boost income with The Mix offering a year’s entry for £52 for youngsters.

The rear of the complex features a YMCA-led youth shelter which will offer six bedrooms and two “crashpads” for vulnerable 16 to 18-year-olds.

Based opposite the Regal Theatre, the centre’s officers who are responsible for the day-to-day running of the facility are rolling out its opening across the year.

Work is still to be done to the front of the building and finishing touches to the interior.

Upon entering the building visitors can quickly become lost in the Alice in Wonderland-inspired layout.

A brightly-lit central corridor quickly splits off with different rooms dotted around the centre. Computers offer youngsters and staff advanced software to channel their imaginations.

The Mix’s board of trustees and a youth panel – made up of youngsters from the centre – will help lead the centre.

Oliver Chidwick, 17, from Needham Market, is part of the board and panel.

He said: “It’s a great opportunity for young people – it provides a safe place and world-class facilities.

“It’s a place for young people’s voices to be heard and to make it what they want it to be.”

Officers are working to build on the centre’s links with other organisations in the town, including the Museum of East Anglian Life and the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts.

Advice services will also offer support to the centre’s members. The charity, The Matthew Project, has already signed up to providing information to youngsters on drugs and alcohol.

The centre was originally due to be completed in March 2013 but was dealt a major blow in 2012 when the Victorian property at the front of the centre, originally earmarked to be refurbished, had structural defects and could not be repaired. Permission to demolish the building had to be obtained from the Government as it was in a conservation area.

The Mix is currently offering creative activity sessions between 4-8pm three days a week.

To find out more about The Mix, go to www.themixstowmarket.com

shares

0 comments

The thatched house in Langham which was badly damaged by a fire.

A blaze at a thatched cottage in a village near the Suffolk/Essex border tackled by firefighters for around seven hours overnight has left a family homeless.

Leiston and District Swimming Club relay teams

A swimming club sent 27 members to a county-wide championship – with more finalists than ever before.

Gena Moore from Nelson’s Journey with Simon and Anne Beckett-Allen of Rosedale Funeral Home

A funeral home with branches in north Suffolk has continued its support for local bereaved children by commissioning a doll’s house style church to help support workers explain what happens at a funeral.

Felixstowe Road Runners

Runners from Suffolk and Essex will once again be flocking to the Capital, this weekend, to take part in the 35th staging of the London Marthon.

Man wanted in connection with a burglary at Playford Court in Sudbury

CCTV images of a man wanted over thefts from properties at sheltered housing complexes in Sudbury.

Cyclists taking part in the Suffolk Sunrise 100 bike ride for children's charity Action Medical Research in 2012

More than 1,300 cyclists are expected to line up for the start of a fundraising ride through the Suffolk countryside in just over a fortnight.

MRSA rates revealed

Drastic measures to tackle potentially life-threatening bugs have significantly reduced outbreaks in our hospitals, an investigation has found.

Police remain outside The Bull pub in Haverhill after an earlier stabbing.

A man was stabbed in Haverhill in the early hours of this morning.

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Doughty-Wylie

A Victoria Cross recipient credited with turning defeat into victory at Gallipoli will be honoured in his home village this weekend – 100 years after he died in battle.

Julie Myerson

It was World Book Night this week. We asked some of our favourite local authors for the three books they’d most want on a desert island. Would you choose the ones they did?

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages