Graffiti wall at Sidmouth Youth Centre?

Sidmouth Youth Centre. Ref shs 0826-40-14TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Youth Centre. Ref shs 0826-40-14TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Civic leaders are looking at providing a graffiti wall and a games area for Sidmouth youngsters.

The town council took over the youth service from Devon County Council (DCC) after a spending review in 2014 threatened its future.

It initially set the budget at £24,000, but this year allocated another £11,500 so Young Devon – the charity delivering the service – can buy new equipment to open for additional evenings and develop special interest groups for the increasing numbers attending. The charity hopes residents will volunteer their attributes to new social and working skills training in areas such as music, car and cycle maintenance, electronics and catering.

And with youth worker Ben Feasey as the new manager, Young Devon has also agreed to develop the use of the Manstone Lane centre among the wider community to provide supporting income for maintenance. The charity and town council are working on a three-year strategy – in consultation with youngsters – to ensure the provision is effective and achieves a sustained impact.

Town council chairman Jeff Turner said: “There is no doubt that we have challenges ahead. Recruiting suitably qualified staff and volunteers to help with the service is an issue both here and across the country. Building better links with the community takes time and requires patience and much management effort, particularly with funding for professional help limited, and we are taking a cautious approach before trying to generate more funding.

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“We are happy though to report that the service is being provided within budget and ahead of the schedule we set last year.

“New plans, targets and budgets will be finalised after further consultations with the youth of the town, Young Devon and other partners as we all look forward to further building and improving the service in the future.”

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He said the graffiti wall will probably be located near the skatepark, and the town council is hoping to work with East Devon District Council to provide a multi-use games area next to the youth centre.

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