Anonymous benefactor secures future of Diss youth base

Civic leaders in Diss spoke of their shock today after it emerged that an anonymous benefactor had bought the town's youth centre for the benefit of the community.

Diss Town Council had been seeking �125,000 to buy the Diss Youth Resource Base after the building was the victim of Norfolk County Council cutbacks earlier in the year.

But leaders were left 'stunned' when they were informed by County Hall officials that a generous person had bought the youth base and was transferring the freehold to the town council for its continued use as a community centre.

The donation means that the town council will not need to dip into developer contribution funds or face the risk of increasing local taxpayers' council tax bills by applying for loans.

The news came as Diss Town Councillors and town clerk Deborah Sarson met with Cliff Jordan, county council cabinet member for efficiency, earlier this week to agree terms over the purchase of the building in Shelfanger Road.

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The identity of the buyer, who approached Norfolk County Council, will remain a mystery to town leaders, who expressed their deep thanks to the anonymous buyer.

Diss mayor Mike Bardwell said: 'We were astounded by this fantastic generosity, not just because of this individual's amazing act of kindness but also because of the faith they have shown in Diss Town Council as an organisation and the trust this person has placed in us.'

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Town councillors discussed the shock development at a meeting last night who voted that a covenant be added to the transfer deeds to ensure that should the facility be sold in the future, the proceeds will be used to provide community facilities elsewhere in the town. A letter of thanks will also be sent by the town council and the youth centre's users to the buyer via Norfolk County Council.

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon added that it was 'tremendous news' that the future of the youth base had been secured.

'I am delighted that the young people of Diss can continue to use the base and I look forward to seeing it flourish under the guidance of Diss Town Council,' he said.

Diss Town Council has been managing the youth base since July 1, which is used by a host of community groups, including the South Norfolk Youth Symphonic Band.

Cliff Jordan, cabinet member for efficiency at Norfolk County Council, added: 'This is fantastic news for the Diss community and we are extremely grateful to this anonymous benefactor for coming forward. We have always said we wanted to sell the centre to the community and the sale had been agreed. However, this generous contribution means that the Diss community will no longer have to provide the funds themselves and the County Council can reinvest in frontline services.'

Any groups interested in using the building are asked to contact the town council on 01379 643848 or email

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