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Tadley's £900,000 youth centre officially declared open

Borough councillor performs the honours

Jane Meredith

Reporter:

Jane Meredith

Contact:

01635 886637

TADLEY’s new £900,000 youth centre is officially open after the ribbon was snipped by Basingstoke and Deane Borough councillor Marilyn Tucker (Con, Pamber and Silchester).

Also at the official opening of The Point, which is situated behind Tadley and District Community Centre, Newchurch Road, was Adrian Noad, the chairman of Tadley and District Community Association, which oversaw the project and manages both buildings.

Chairman of Tadley Town Council David Leeks was also there on the day in a show of support. The town council had provided some £160,000 of taxpayers’ money  towards the project.

According to the community association, for every £1 contributed by Tadley council taxpayers, it has secured an additional £2.88 in grants or donations towards the project.

In an online statement, the association said The Point had proved an ambitious project.

“The land, that was purchased by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council from Hampshire County Council for just £1, is likely to be land- locked in future years when houses are constructed on the adjoining former school site.

“To develop this site there was really the only one opportunity to ensure that a lasting legacy could be delivered for the area’s youngsters.

“The design of the building was inspired by the young people of Tadley themselves when they contributed to the feasibility study in October 2013.”

The doors of the youth centre were opened at the end of April, after months of setbacks and delays.

Eight years in the making, The Point began to take shape in August last year, ahead of an initial scheduled opening date in November.

The opening was put back until January this year, owing to a shortage of skilled craftsmen, in particular carpenters, to finish the construction of the timber building, which then slipped back further to April.

The new £900,000 community facility will be available to the area’s 11- to 19-year-olds from 4pm to 9pm on Mondays to Fridays, and includes a café area and meeting hall, equipped with pool tables, video games, music and free wi-fi.

Available to the wider community during the daytime and weekends, The Point features additional meeting rooms, a first-floor performance hall and a fully- equipped recording studio.

Funds for the building include: public works loan – £150,000; Turbury Allotment Charity – £300,000; Greenham Common Trust – £65,000; Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council – £182,300; and Tadley Town Council – £160,000.

Local businesses offering sponsorship and donations are still being sought, to fund furnishings and equipment. Volunteers for the café area are also needed.

For more details contact Tadley and District Community Association on (0118) 981 4538.

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