Land sale will not press ahead for Surge youth centre in Watton

Volunteers at a Watton youth centre have promised to put the 'building blocks' in place to secure its future.

The charity Project Rainbow, which runs the Surge, will be consulting with different groups and looking at how best to sustain the centre, which opened in 2009.

Plans to sell land behind Watton's Youth and Community Centre, in Harvey Street, were agreed in principle two years ago by the Charlotte Harvey Trust, to help fund the Surge.

But it was decided during a recent meeting with the trust – a corporate body made up of Watton town councillors – and Project Rainbow not to sell the land because of a drop of volunteers at the Surge.

Paul Cooper, chairman of the trust, said: 'It is very sad, after so much effort and support put in by so many people over the last three years that this decision has had to be made.'

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If the deal had gone through, one and a half acres of outdoor space would have been sold.

Mr Cooper said the income generated from the Surge was not sufficient to safeguard a long-term commitment with the centre, which used to be a doctor's surgery.

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The Rev Geoff Garrett, chairman of Project Rainbow, said the consultation would be with the Youth Focus Group, Wayland Partnership and New Beginnings.

He added: 'The youth workers and volunteers are doing a sterling job. We are looking into other avenues for both income and use.'

The Surge is owned by Iceni Developments and a Monday night youth club is used by between 30 and 40 children and teenagers each week.

There is also a weekly Breckland Bikers club for people aged between 16 and 24, who can learn about road safety and bike maintenance.

A Seniors at the Surge group for the over 50s also takes place every Wednesday lunchtime.

Currently there are two youth workers and four volunteers at the Surge.

Watton Town Council gave a �20,000 grant to Project Rainbow in 2008 to go into the building.

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