Landmark moment in creation of state-of-the-art MYPlace youth centre in Oswestry
A landmark moment in the creation of a new, state-of-the-art youth centre in Oswestry is going to be celebrated today (Tuesday 15 November 2011) with a special ceremony.
Work on the foundations of the £2.85 million facility for young people has been completed and building work continues. Today a brick-laying ceremony will mark the next stage of the development. Young people, including members of the project board and a county deputy Member of Youth Parliament, will take part in the brick-laying ceremony, while being supported by civic leaders who have given tremendous support throughout this project.
The MYPlace project - www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/prog_myplace.htm - which has been made possible by Government grants, will replace the existing facility in Oak Street, and is expected to open in summer 2012.
Once complete, the energy-efficient centre will provide rooms for musicians looking for practice space, ramps and skateboard equipment which will be used inside and outside the building, as well as a new home for the town’s St John Ambulance unit.
The centre will also have a large coffee bar and kitchen, and young people will be able to access staff who can offer advice on careers, housing and much more.
The impressive building has been designed with the help of local young people. The building is called ‘The Centre’, a name chosen by young people who have been working on the design and plans for four years. The young people were very keen to incorporate many ‘green’ features and, as a result, it will have many energy-saving elements such as roof windows to promote air circulation, removing the need for expensive air conditioning, rain water harvesting, solar panels and a striking roof garden.
It will also include many clever design features such as an internal pod which will be the reception area.
Billy, from the MYPlace young people’s forum, said:
“It’s a brand new building catering for all young people; it will be a fantastic place for young people to learn and grow.”
Sonia, a young person who has been involved with the project from the beginning, said:
“I can’t wait for it to open. So much of my time has been spent talking about it I can’t believe the building is nearing completion.”
Kathryn Brooke, deputy Member of Youth Parliament for Shropshire, said:
“The centre will offer a fantastic range of exciting activities, opportunities and support for the young people of Oswestry and surrounding areas.”
Councillor Aggie Caesar-Homden, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for education and skills, said:
“It is fantastic to see work progressing well. Together with the council, the young people of Oswestry have worked extremely hard on this project and I am so pleased that they will be able to see their ideas come to life.
“Through consultation events with the local community, this has been a partnership approach and everyone involved has shown immense commitment. I am proud to have been associated with such a groundbreaking venture.
“The next stage will be extremely busy and exciting; the young people of Oswestry and the surrounding area will have a fantastic new centre which will give them a place of their own, allow them to take part in a range of activities, and the opportunity to benefit from important information, advice and guidance.”
Vince Hunt, Shropshire councillor for Oswestry West, said:
“I am delighted that this project is moving forward. I have been involved with this project for two years, and I am very aware of how important this is to young people in Oswestry, and how it will be a focus for youth work in the area.
“I am looking forward to seeing the centre open and young people having the opportunity to make the most of the facilities on offer. I am truly excited about this, and thankful to all who have put so much effort into making this happen.”
Oswestry Town Councillor Cynthia Hawksley, town Mayor, said:
“The town council, as landowner, has been delighted to negotiate the legal arrangements to allow the project to go ahead. We wish this important facility for Oswestry every possible success.”
A £2,115,877 grant for this project was awarded by the Big Fund in April 2011, and a further grant of £470,000 has been received from the Department for Education for co-locating a range of important services for young people. The remaining money has been contributed by Shropshire Council.
To ensure young people continue to receive services whilst the building work is being completed, alternative arrangements have been made. Young people are currently meeting at the council building on Holbache Road/Oswald Place.
Today’s event will take place at the Oak Street building site at 3.30pm.