New community centre for Woodbridge to go full steam ahead in 2020
- Credit: Picture: SCOTT MORTIMER ARCHITEC
Jetty Lane CIO, the charity hoping to raise £3.5 million for the brand new youth and arts centre in Woodbridge, has come on leaps and bounds within the last year.
The Jetty Lane project aims to raise funds for a new community centre to house charities and groups left homeless since the demolition of the town's old centre in January 2017.
Woodbridge county councillor and Jetty Lane founder and chairman Caroline Page said: "At the time we weren't sure what we ought to do but we were certain of one thing, there had been a youth centre on the site since 1949.
"The need was unarguable. A centre must rise again in Woodbridge."
Project manager Cordelia Richman said the campaign had quickly gained many friends and supporters.
"We've made great progress at Jetty Lane over the last year.
"With huge support from the local community and a fantastic team of hard-working, talented people, we've achieved a massive amount.
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"We're following some very positive leads regarding funding but if anyone out there can help in any way, please get in touch."
The campaign began in January when Larking Gowen Chartered Accountants helped to kick off the process of becoming a charity.
The following month East Suffolk Council voted unanimously to approve the full planning application.
In March, the building design team had agreed to meet every two weeks and the business team was set up during April ready to accept and approve fundraising applications.
In May, a research trip to BT Martlesham took place and by June a significant step towards the building works was completed in which the foundations of the structure were laid out, giving the first real glimpse of the centre coming to life.
In July, the official lease for the land the centre would be built on was signed and by August, Jetty Lane had been officially announced as a charity with a grant from East Suffolk Council of £188,000 being paid in the first major contribution towards the centre.
A promotional film by John Fenson of On Th'Huh Studios and a 3D model of the centre were produced in September and presented to Woodbridge Town Council in October.
By November, Killik Charitable Trust pledged £30,000 over the next three years and by the time Christmas arrived, the "Art on Board" proposal was accepted by trustees and an announcement that artist Samantha Barnes would be managing it was made.
An anonymous donation of £6,000 was also received.
Ms Richman said: "With huge support from the local community, anchor tenants who are desperate to move in and a fantastic team of hard-working, talented people, we've achieved a massive amount.
"Now that the background work is complete, 2020 is going to be all about fundraising and making the building as sustainable as possible."
The previous community centre housed 11 different groups and organisations including the 1st Woodbridge Scouts, New Horizons Lunch Club and Just42.
The new building will provide an exhibition hall for hire, 10 art studios - two with disabled access - and six flexible commercial office spaces to rent, as well as a board room for meetings.
Jetty Lane is looking for a trustee to join the group, email them for more details.