‘Other’ use request for Sidmouth youth venue

PUBLISHED: 10:32 15 February 2011 | UPDATED: 10:41 15 February 2011

HAPPY DAYS: The great and the good turned out for the opening of The Arches, a venue dedicated to town youngsters, in July last year. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 5781-28-10SH

HAPPY DAYS: The great and the good turned out for the opening of The Arches, a venue dedicated to town youngsters, in July last year. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 5781-28-10SH

Archant

DRIVING forces behind a venue dedicated to Sidmouth youngsters have asked their civic leader landlords if town charities can benefit from the premises as well.

ORGANISERS behind a venue dedicated to Sidmouth youngsters have asked their civic leader landlords if town charities can benefit from the premises as well.

Sidmouth Youth Trust leaders saw a request, to let organisations such as Living With Cancer and the town’s Memory Café use The Arches in The Esplanade, get a mixed reception from town councillors this week.

A clause in the trust’s lease with the council states the seafront venue, opened in July last year, can only be used as a youth facility.

Some councillors feared ‘setting a precedent’, while others labelled The Arches as ‘under-used’, when they discussed the matter on Monday.

David Richards, secretary of Sidmouth Youth Trust, wrote to the council to ask whether it would allow an amendment to the lease if use was “an obvious benefit to the Sidmouth community.”

Councillor Christine Drew said the recent appointment of a youth leader would see the premises used by youngsters more.

“My first thought was let’s keep it for young ones,” she said.

“I’d like to leave it as it is,” said Cllr Mary Jolly, who feared any change would “set too much of a precedent.”

Cllr Jeffrey Turner said: “The proposals here are for local charities. I’m inclined to let them do this on the basis the facility is pretty under-utilised.”

“We should talk to our colleagues at the youth trust and take each case on its own merits,” said Cllr Simon Pollentine.

Cllr John Dyson said the Arches had been an “expensive exercise” and added: “The more it is used, the more beneficial it is for the town.”

In his letter, Mr Richards said town charities might be interested in using the resource. He added, such use would only be for “short periods” when young people were “engaged” and there would be no ‘hiring out’ at weekends or in school holidays.

Town council chairman, Cllr Peter Sullivan, said: “There are certain times when the building is left empty.”

Councillors agreed Mr Sullivan and the town clerk would hold discussions with the youth trust.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Sidmouth Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald