Celebrations as Ottery’s youth centre gets set to re-open before Christmas

Ottery mayor cllr Glyn Dobson with deputy mayor cllr Ian Holmes, revd Mac Dick from The 06 and cllr

Ottery mayor cllr Glyn Dobson with deputy mayor cllr Ian Holmes, revd Mac Dick from The 06 and cllr Geoff Pratt with the papers for The Station youth centre which have been handed over to the Town Council. Ref sho 1386-47-14SH Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

There is cause for celebration in Ottery as the town’s youth centre gets set to reopen before Christmas.

The Station, in Barrack Road, will officially open its doors on Wednesday, December 17, after civic leaders stepped in to take over the lease on the premises.

The centre was one of many hit by slashed council budgets and was forced to close in September, sparking a community campaign to get the facility back into operation.

The Reverend Mac Dick who spearheaded the campaign, said: “It is a very exciting time in the history of Ottery. There has been a lot of bad news with council cuts, but Devon County Council (DCC) and Ottery Town Council have been very supportive.”

Mayor Glyn Dobson said: “I am really excited and enthusiastic about it.

“We are going to use it as much as we can for the good of the community, but the main thing is to get the youth centre going again.”

The centre will receive a £10,000 start-up fund from DCC, which will be matched by the town council.

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It was also announced at Monday’s town council meeting that a £5,000 fund from the Parishes Together initiative will go to the youth centre, which was identified as a place that benefits many young people from Ottery and neighbouring parishes.

Cllr Dobson said: “It is like a buffer for the youth club for the first 12 months.”

Mr Dick is now busy planning the opening night and he is expecting a lot of young people from the area to turn out for the event.

“The school is designing a poster to advertise the reopening - we have run this as a competition and it has had about 100 entries,” said Mr Dick.

“We will also be rolling out a community trust to try and encourage organisations around the town to use it as well.”

He explained his vision is for The Station to become a real community centre, used by a broad section of people in the town, from parents and children, to the elderly, to bands and choirs who, he suggests, could use it as a rehearsal space.

“The community trust will hopefully be representative of organisations that use it,” said Mr Dick.

“We are right at the beginning now as the lease has only just been signed.”