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Financial boost for Cambourne Youth Centre

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A new purpose-built centre for young people in Cambourne to serve the town’s growing population is set to be completed earlier than initially planned.

Work is under way on Cambourne Youth Centre (51528984)
Work is under way on Cambourne Youth Centre (51528984)

The news comes thanks to a loan from South Cambridgeshire District Council to Cambourne Town Council to help move the project forward.

Joe O’Dwyer, town council chair, said: “This is an investment in young people and will provide them with greater opportunities to positively express themselves, learn new skills and to explore and realise their potential.

“This loan is a great example of partnership working creatively to enrich our community and ultimately benefit us all.”

The town council is set to receive £500,000 from the developers of Cambourne West but not until the completion of the 300th home in around three years.

The district council agreed to provide a loan to bridge the gap to ensure the new youth centre can be completed as soon as possible.

The loan was recommended by the district council’s cabinet, and subsequently approved by full council.

Construction work is already under way at Back Lane and the new youth centre is expected to be completed in February 2022.

The new building will be a highly insulated timber structure and feature solar panels, air source heat pumps and LED lighting to minimise its carbon footprint. There will be covered cycle parking and young people will be part of a project to plant surrounding trees and hedges to develop skills and promote the importance of ecology in Cambourne.

It will replace the dated Cambourne Soul building on Back Lane which has been in place since 2006 and is now considered too small for Cambourne’s growing population.

There will be a main hall, club room, studio space, kitchen, office and counselling room. There are plans for open access drop-in sessions for young people when the new building is complete, along with the space to better cater for young people who are isolated or disabled.

Cambridgeshire County Council has also supported the project by giving a communities capital fund grant of £237,000 to enhance the youth building, and support activities for young people during the recovery from Covid-19, to help address social isolation.

The district council’s lead cabinet member for finance, Cllr John Williams, said: “I can’t wait to see Cambourne’s young people using the fantastic new facility. It makes sense to provide this loan now as the alternative would have seen Cambourne’s young people deprived of a youth centre that meets their needs for several years yet. It is a real social investment in the future of Cambourne.”

District council leader, Cllr Bridget Smith, added: “It’s fantastic that we have been able to provide this support for Cambourne’s very deserving young people. When you consider the impact that Covid has had on their social lives, it’s clear how badly this new centre is needed. I’m equally pleased to read about the building’s green credentials and the emphasis that the town council has placed on reducing its carbon footprint as much as possible.”

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