Bright future for Diss youth centre after sale completed

The long-awaited sale of a Norfolk town's youth centre to the town council has been completed, enabling immediate improvements to the building to begin.

A funding bid is set to be submitted to the Sport England government agency for funding for an outdoor gym at the Diss Youth Resource Base, in Shelfanger Road, while a youth group is also beiong run from the centre.

The sale of the Norfolk County Council-run centre to the town council had to be put on hold while electrical tests were carried out to ensure the centre met insurance requirements. However, no significant fault were found in the tests and the sale was able to proceed.

The centre is currently being run by a steering group, but a charitable trust could be set up to take over the running with one young person, a youth worker and a paid part-time caretaker and there are plans to let upstairs office space to a social enterprise or not-for-profit group to generate extra revenue for the centre.

South Norfolk Council has also approved a grant to help with improvements and urgent works, while the county council's youth transition fund has provided cash to pay for a youth worker for the centre's youth group for a year.

Many of the recommendations for the centre's future use were contained in a report commissioned by business analysts Moss-King Associates after the county council was forced to sell the centre to the town council for �125,000 by cutbacks to reduce the national debt.

An anonymous donor stepped in to buy the centre on the town council's behalf.

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Town Mayor Mike Bardwell said: 'This is a significant step for both Diss Town Council and the town. We look forward to being able to deliver an improved youth and community service for the town and surrounding areas in partnership with other organisations and to drive forward a programme of improvements to the building.'

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