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Youth centre future uncertain after funding cuts

Solihull Editorial 15th Jul, 2015 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

A BALSALL Common youth centre looks set to close its doors if no one steps forward to save it.

Discussions will be held over the future of The Jubilee Youth and Community Centre tonight (Wednesday) after £7,000 gap in funding has left Berkswell Parish Councillors with no choice but to close its doors.

The centre had been jointly funded by Balsall and Berkswell Parish Councils since 2002, but when the finance committee in Balsall failed to stump up this year’s £10,000 contribution – only paying £3,000 – Berkswell Parish Councillors have been left unable to fund the project on their own with virtually no funds in reserve.

During the daytime the converted old library acts as a ‘drop-in’ centre for older residents, while in the evening the centre provides young people from both parishes with a place to meet and socialise as well as receive counselling and advice from two trained youth workers.

And with the expected closure, the two youth leaders will be made redundant.

Don Hitchcock, a war veteran and founding Trustee of the project, said he was very disappointed with the unilateral action of Balsall Parish Council.

The Trustees, he said, had given time and energy to support the project “because we are committed to the youth of the village and recognise that they are our future.”

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