Photo gallery: �1million centre reopens
PORTISHEAD Youth Centre has re-opened following a �1million refit.
The refurbishment of both the inside and outside has transformed the 1960s premises into a modern, inviting, 21st century community building.
The work began in 2009 was completed in three phases.
The new-look centre, now bright blue in colour, has seen an extension added to provide additional space which will allow an increase in activities.
The extra room has given more space to the coffee bar, which now includes modern sofas, tables and chairs, providing a relaxed environment in which people can socialise and enjoy a cup of coffee or light snack.
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New lighting, flat screen TVs and a sound system have been added and plans are under way to set up an Internet caf�.
A special needs room has been created, partly funded by the Portishead Nautical School Trust, which includes a fully-equipped kitchen to encourage users to develop life skills.
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The floor has been raised in the main hall making it more accessible for wheelchairs and a new staff office has been created.
The centre, which is host to a community radio station, also has a fully-equipped recording studio and dance hall.
The community building is used by the youth club four evenings a week and on Fridays it runs a fun club for people with complex needs.
It is home to pre-school activities during the day Monday to Friday and hosts Audacity dance troupe on Tuesdays and the Rock Project on Wednesday evenings.
More user groups are now being sought and a full time worker is required to run the caf� to enable it to open five days a week.
The redevelopment has been funded by various sources including money from developers’ section 106 planning agreements, a town council grant and more than �100,000 raised by youth club members, supported by the community.
This is the largest amount of money spent on any youth club in North Somerset in recent years and is likely to be the last investment of this scale, as youth services bear the brunt of the council’s spending cuts.
While looking around the Harbour Road building, councillor Jeremy Blatchford, North Somerset Council’s Executive Member for Children and Young People’s Services said: “This centre has been put together by the whole Portishead community which is a clear statement of the spirit which exists in the town.
“North Somerset has to make cuts, which include the youth service, but what we need to do is seek a Portishead solution for the Portishead Youth Centre.”