Stowmarket: Youth centre gets �4.75m boost

THE future of a state-of-the-art youth centre has been confirmed after the Government pledged to commit �4.75million to see it through to completion.

Stowmarket’s The Mix - being developed by the XCHANGE Project for Suffolk County Council- is one of 57 schemes that has been saved by a �134million investment from the Government through its Myplace initiative.

The funding was secured as part of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review settlement and will be available to projects over the next two years, subject to meeting programme requirements, particularly in relation to financial sustainability.

Located at a disused property in Ipswich Street, The Mix would provide young people with “a safe space to explore their talents, develop new skills, socialise with friends and access independent advice and guidance from various specialists”.

It would also have a housing unit to provide suitable short-term emergency accommodation with specialist support and housing advice staff living on site around the clock, working with the young residents to help them either return home, or move into age-appropriate supported housing.

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Children’s Minister Tim Loughton said he was “delighted” to confirm that the 57 projects would be able to continue.

He said: “In the tough economic climate, securing this funding is testament to the importance the Government is placing on supporting young people.

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“I will be looking to these projects to make the very most of the resources they are receiving and to take every opportunity to promote young people’s positive and active role in society.

“I want to see them working closely with their communities and local businesses to ensure they are sustainable in the long term. I also want projects led by local authorities to transfer or share ownership with the local community and with young people.”

Last night Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s head of children, schools and young people’s services, said it was “extremely good news” and the centre would tackle the serious issues with young people in the town.

He said: “We are very, very pleased and we have got an excellent project manager on the case. We’re delighted for the town.”

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