New lease of life for Lowestoft community centre
PUBLISHED: 16:01 14 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:01 14 June 2019
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A community centre which has been used by generations of Lowestoft families has been given a new lease of life.
Colville House, on School Road, has been taken over by Inspire Suffolk, a charity supporting young people and children across the county.
Six years ago, the Colville House Trust saved the centre from closure to continue provided a key facility for the town, including the Colville House Youth Club which has been running since the 1950s and will continue under Inspire Suffolk's portfolio of services.
Terry Baxter, CEO of Inspire Suffolk, said: "For some time, we have delivered our programme at Colville House and, during our time at the venue, it had become clear that we were a charity that could help take on the legacy of the Colville House Trust and its trustees, ensuring the continued provision of a community hub for the local area and beyond.
"Our team and local supporters have been working hard to renovate the site over the past few months and we are really excited about the opportunities ahead for the local community."
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The trustees involved in saving the centre in 2013 have also been recognised with refurbished rooms named in their honour at the site.
Brian Hunter, chair of the trust, said: "It is a very real pleasure to have been able to work with Inspire Suffolk in a process which will not only allow present users of Colville House to continue, but also will bring about an enhancing and sustainable position for the future.
"We wish Inspire Suffolk every success for the future and thank everyone involved in their support."
Inspire Suffolk aim to help young people build confidence, learn new skills and progress onto a positive future. They have delivered their Prince's Trust programme in the town for over eight years, often at Colville House, where they will now extend their services.
Opening the refurbished centre, Lowestoft mayor Alice Taylor said: "Anything that helps to give children a wider view of the world is wonderful and the town council are totally supportive of local organisations doing good work."
Keith Robinson, who represents Oulton Broad on East Suffolk council, said: "Inspire Suffolk do an excellent job and the clubs and groups who meet here have such an important space, and that is great for our area."