Redeveloped Conservative Club to include youth centre after £15k funding approved

The Conservative Club is due to reopen later in the year Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The Conservative Club is due to reopen later in the year Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Archant

The redeveloped Conservative Club in Framlingham will have dedicated youth facilities after community leaders approved funding for the project.

In January's meeting, Framlingham town councillors agreed to provide £15,000 of community infrastructure levy (CIL) funding for the redevelopment of the building in Church Street.

The money will be given to Framlingham Area Youth Action Partnership (FAYAP) and pay for modifications within the club, including a dedicated youth facility.

Spadge Hopkins, project manager at FAYAP, said: "It will make a massive difference to the community.

"It's going to be a meeting point and place for young people in Framlingham to chill out."

Framlingham's Conservative Club closed in December of 2018, with committee members blaming a 'stay-at-home' drinking culture for its demise.

The property was acquired by Paperhouse Properties, a venture by architects Mark Hoare and Ted Ridge, who intend to convert the building into a space of "lasting social value" in the town.

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Framlingham's drill hall was previously one of the meeting points for young people in the town, but it was sold to private developers in 2006 - despite calls for it to be saved for public use.

Mr Hopkins added: "The new youth centre will really help, especially since we lost the drill hall."

The council has agreed to provide the funding on the condition that a retrospective CIL application will be submitted by the town council to East Suffolk Council.

Payment will be handed to FAYAP once it has agreed a five-year lease with Paperhouse.

Redevelopment work on the building is due to start this month, and Paperhouse have said they are aiming to reopen the building in May.

Mark Hoare, of Paperhouse, said: "Our hope is to achieve a creative atmosphere and identity for the club, but in a way which allows purposeful access to the wider community.

"In addition to the FAYAP room, we are also intending to have another room kept aside as a 'room for hire' by the local community.

"This, coupled with the new cafe and various rooms for longer lease hire, should mean that plenty of people have reason to visit the building and will help to ensure that it has a continuing place in the public life of Framlingham."

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