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Campaign to raise £800k to make city community hub dream a reality

PUBLISHED: 14:44 20 July 2019

Artist's impressions of new community hub at former Jubilee Hall site. Supplied by YMCA Norfolk.

Artist's impressions of new community hub at former Jubilee Hall site. Supplied by YMCA Norfolk.

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A campaign is under way to raise £800,000 to help transform a former hall once used by war veterans and their families into an exciting £2m hub for the community.

Artist's impressions of new community hub at Jubilee Hall. PIC: Supplied by YMCA Norfolk.Artist's impressions of new community hub at Jubilee Hall. PIC: Supplied by YMCA Norfolk.

Jubilee Hall on Aylsham Road, Norwich, was once used by the Royal British Legion but has become a target for vandals since it closed its doors in 2014, despite a hard-fought campaign to keep it open.

In May, YMCA Norfolk announced ambitious plans to breathe new life into the building, which was bought in 2015 by the Lind Trust.

YMCA Norfolk wants to convert the building into a community hub offering a range of services to the local community, with a particular focus on families, including a day care nursery, café and soft play centre.

The refurbishment cost is estimated at £2m. The Lind Trust has donated the building and £500,000 towards the cost of the refurbishment work while Norfolk County Council has awarded £200,000 to the project.

Artist's impressions of new community hub at former Jubilee Hall site. PIC: Supplied by YMCA Norfolk.Artist's impressions of new community hub at former Jubilee Hall site. PIC: Supplied by YMCA Norfolk.

But before the building can open in 2020 YMCA Norfolk need to raise £800,000.

YMCA Norfolk has already raised £95,000 of that target but needs help in raising the other £705,000.

Chief executive Tim Sweeting said: "Huge thanks to Norwich Freeman's Charity, The Lind Trust, Norwich City Council and the John Jarrold Trust for their early support to this innovative project.

"We're currently awaiting responses from applications already submitted and are also writing a large number of additional bids and applications to a wide range of potential funders.

"We feel confident that with their help and the support of local businesses and the wider community we can raise the necessary funds to ensure this essential community resource opens on time."

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YMCA Norfolk is continuing its fundraising campaign, and is launching an appeal to the public to assist it in making this scheme a reality.

As previously reported, it had been hoped the building might have reopened last year after ambitious plans were unveiled by the Norwich Jubilee Centre Charitable Foundation (NJCCF) in 2016, although the new vision comes after it was taken over by YMCA Norfolk.

How to help YMCA Norfolk in fundraising bid

From cake sales and non-uniform days to live music or hosting your own sports event - there are plenty of ways people can fundraise to help make the community hub a reality.

Susie Knights, YMCA Norfolk marketing and fundraising manager, said: "There are lots of ways the public can get involved in helping us achieve our fundraising target.

"We would love to hear from individuals, community groups or businesses that can offer financial or practical support to take the refurbishment forward. Every donation, big or small, is greatly appreciated and supports us in building a fantastic and much needed service within the community."

You can donate towards our community hub scheme online via www.ymcanorfolk.org or alternatively contact Susie Knights, 35 to 37 Exchange Street, Norwich NR2 1DP or on susie.knights@ymcanorfolk.org

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