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Closure-threatened Kidderminster youth centre survives - for now
A KIDDERMINSTER youth centre threatened with closure has survived – for now.
But uncertainty over funding means there are still concerns over the long-term future of Kidderminster and District Youth Centre.
Kidderminster Youth Trust will take over the running of the centre in Bromsgrove Street, and the provision of its youth services from Worcestershire County Council on January 1, 2013.
Last year, the council voted not to renew its lease on the building after March, 2013 as part of plans to slash funding for county youth services by 53 per cent, sparking fears the Kidderminster centre could close.
As part of the new deal, the trust will receive £31,000 from the council – which is now commissioning individuals and organisations to provide county youth services – from January until March, 2013, then £118,000 for two years until March, 2015.
The latter sum, however, is short of the £132,000 the trust wanted and does not cover building running costs, estimated to be about £45,000 a year. It is also unknown what will happen to funding after March, 2015.
Phil Arthurs-Thompson, 14, Worcestershire Youth Cabinet Wyre Forest representative, said: “I’m happy the service will continue but worried about its future.
“People are upset we have to come up with our own funding but we do still have a youth club and somewhere to go for now. I’m not sure we will be able to do it long term, though.”
Trustee Terry Denslow, who helped with the trust’s bid, said he was confident the money could be raised.
“We hope the delivery of services will be similar to services currently offered and we can actually increase opportunities for people,” he explained.
“We do not know long term what will happen but are optimistic. To raise the money we will make the building available for additional use, for which there will be a charge, as we have some fantastic facilities.
“We also hope people will come forward to volunteer, maybe people who have used the centre in the past.”
Founder trustee Charles Talbot said Kidderminster youngsters had “something to call their own”.
“The trust have done a great job to reach this happy conclusion,” he added.