Marlborough Community & Youth Centre
Marlborough Community & Youth Centre - What’s it all about?
In Marlborough, we have no community centre for local groups to use or where sports clubs can practice and, more importantly, nowhere for our young people to meet and socialise since the Youth Centre at St Margaret’s Mead was closed and services withdrawn by our Unitary Authority. The building was about to be boarded up and mothballed but, led by community demand and championed by Councillor Lisa Farrell, the Town Council took it on in June 2017 and is working hard to re-open it as a Community Centre before the end of the year.
This project has united the community – older people remember using the building as a youth club in the 1970s with some going on to volunteer to run youth groups in the same building as adults. When it was shut in 2016, local volunteers rented the building and ran a youth group along with others, including a Barnardo’s group, renting it too. When the notice to quit arrived in 2017, local young people with placards attended Town Council meetings to ask that it took the building on. Councillors agreed and have now entered into a 7 year lease with Wiltshire Council which will lead to a transfer of the building into its ownership well within that time.
Councillors are now working hard towards it re-opening. With no capital budget in place for the refurbishment work, we have applied for grants and are reliant on these and funding contributions. So far, this is going well with grants worth just under £20,000 already confirmed, a generous contribution from the Lions Club of £1,000 and anonymous donations too. We are now looking for funding for various items furniture and equipment. Please help us if you can.
What will it offer?
Once re-opened, the building will offer the use of:
- a multi-use hall (stripping back the floor to expose the original wooden sports floor)
- a sound proofed music practice room
- café area
- a suite of computers
- games area with a pool table
- changing room for sports users
- storage space for regular users
- free WiFi throughout
- office area and meeting rooms
Funding is still needed to equip the centre – we need furniture as well as kitchen, electrical & IT equipment, sports gear and more.
A generous donation from Marlborough Lions Club
Thumbs-up from Councillors on winning a grant of £9,011 from the Big Lottery Fund – this will be used for CCTV, access control and intruder alarms to ensure the building is secure for the community. Read more...
General refurbishment work begins!
July - Grant funding obtained from the Area Board (£10,000) and other contributions are pledged (£2,000)
12 June – The building is taken on by Marlborough Town Council on a 7-year lease
Wiltshire Council gives notice to all users of the Youth Centre: the youth worker is withdrawn when budget cuts cause it to reduce the number of youth workers from 150 to 18 across the county. Local groups are able to rent the building on a ‘per use’ basis but need their own volunteers to run activities.
Keep up to date with the work in progress!