Appeal for volunteers to join community bid to keep Horncastle Youth Centre open

Horncastle Youth Centre. EMN-190716-091623001
Horncastle Youth Centre. EMN-190716-091623001

Horncastle’s under-threat Youth Centre building could be set to take on a new lease of life and be run by a new community-based organisation.

The News revealed earlier this month how Lincolnshire County Council planned to shut the building in September following a condition survey report which identified a number of issues.

The shock announcement, condemned by town councillors at a meeting earlier this month, was a hammer blow to the many organisations that use the centre, including a youth club, a martial arts club and TED, a weekly social group for over-55s.

Now, County Councillor Bill Aron and town councillor Dominic Hinkins are leading a bid to keep the centre open and are appealing for volunteers to join them.

They have organised an open day on August 10 at the centre (10am-1pm).

Provided there is enough support, they plan to submit an expression of interest to Lincolnshire County Council, paving the way for a community-led group to take over the building.

Coun Aron said: “It was heartening to hear the response of councillors and residents to the closure proposal.

“I have been back to the county council who have been extremely helpful .

“We are hoping volunteers will come forward to offer their help and expertise.

“The county council has identified a small number of issues that would need our immediate attention.

“We will be presenting a full business plan and an expression of interest which will give us time to fund raise and bid for grant money to ensure the building is renovated to a high standard.“

Coun Aron, who praised the efforts of Coun Hinkins, has a wealth of experience saving public buildings in the town, including The War Memorial Centre and Stanhope Hall with are now run by charitable organisations.

lA support/volunteer form will be available at the open day which will also include a presentations by Coun Hinkins. Information is also available from 07554 425353 or e-mail dominichinkins@googlemail.com or Coun Aron on 01507 526951/07711195961.