£188k boost for riverside town’s £3million youth and arts centre project

Buidling plans for the new community youth and arts centre in Woodbridge Picture: SCOTT MORTIMER ARC

Buidling plans for the new community youth and arts centre in Woodbridge Picture: SCOTT MORTIMER ARCHITECTURE/CONFABRICOR - Credit: Picture: SCOTT MORTIMER ARCHITEC

Plans to provide Woodbridge with a new youth, art and community centre for generations to come have been given a funding boost of £188,000.

Jetty Lane, the Community Interest Company (CIC) behind the £3million project, has been granted the cash from East Suffolk Council's Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to cover pre-construction costs for the new community centre.

CIL money is paid into a fund by developers for every house they build in the district.

Donations and other fundraising efforts will provide the rest of the cash needed to get the project up and running.

David Ritchie, cabinet member for planning and coastal management, said: "This is the biggest CIL grant to be awarded in east Suffolk to date and it is fantastic to see residents benefit from development in the area with such a worthwhile project, which will not only prove invaluable to young people and flourishing artists, but to the whole community."

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The new community centre is set to be built on the site where the previous Woodbridge Youth Centre was located before being taken down over fears for the building's safety - continuing the tradition of having a youth centre on this site since 1949.

In a joint statement, the directors of Jetty Lane said: "We are absolutely delighted to have been given such a generous grant by East Suffolk Council.

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"This is history in the making.

"The Jetty Lane site has been serving the young people of Woodbridge - and the wider community - for 70 years.

"Add the 125-year lease, offered by Suffolk County Council, and we are looking at a 200-year project to benefit generations of Woodbridge residents from the cradle to old age. What a legacy for our town!"

Jetty Lane CIC is in the process of raising the remaining funds needed to complete the project and work is expected to start by the end of 2020.

The centre aims to become a home for a number of the town's community groups including Just 42 and the 1st Woodbridge Scouts.

Recommendations on what to spend CIL on are made by the Council's Local Plan Working Group and the final decision is made by the Council's Cabinet.

The Jetty Lane Youth, Arts and Community Centre project has received the biggest CIL payment since the scheme started in 2014.

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