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Suffolk County Council award 125 lease to planned new Woodbridge youth and community centre

PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 December 2017

Carollers: left to right: Patrick Gillard, Emma Greenhouse, Cordelia Richman, Caroline Page, Rockey Singh. Picture: Charmian S Berry

Carollers: left to right: Patrick Gillard, Emma Greenhouse, Cordelia Richman, Caroline Page, Rockey Singh. Picture: Charmian S Berry

Archant

Campaigners in Woodbridge have been celebrating after they were given the go-ahead for a 125-year lease on land at Jetty Lane by Suffolk County Council.

The former site of the Old Woodbridge Youth Club will be built on to create a new youth, arts and community centre for the town.

One of the largest proponents of the new centre has been Woodbridge county councillor, Caroline Page.

“The old building was pulled down, but the demand remained, and is growing,” said Ms Page. “We all know Woodbridge is a property hotspot.

“None of the groups that were made homeless have been able to find permanent new homes anywhere in Woodbridge.

“The site is ideal – because it is very central and allows users to get there by bus, bicycle, on foot, even by skateboard, as well as being close to good car-parking.

“The building is beautiful and flexible, with a wonderful design by local architects.”

The new building will become home to its former resident, youth charity Just 42, who are currently based in containers on the site, as well as the 1st Woodbridge Scouts.

It will also contain small studios for young artists and hireable space for groups with some hotdesking facilities available.

This news is the latest step in what has been a long process for campaigners.

A meeting was held in January of this year to come up with a plan to replace the former centre which was condemned by the county council due to irreparable decay and the discovery of asbestos.

Proposals were then drawn up and circulated for a new building on the old site.

These plans were then shown to Woodbridge Town Council earlier this year before a business plan was presented by the Jetty Lane group to Suffolk County Council’s corporate property panel.

Some members of the Jetty Lane group decided to start fundraising almost straight away following the good news with a night of carolling on the streets of Woodbridge helping to raise almost £150 towards the project’s target.

Writing on Facebook, the Jetty Lane group said that they would be going “full steam ahead” with their fundraising efforts once the festive break had ended

They pledged that the new centre would be open in the town “as soon as ever we can”.

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