News release from 23/09/2021

Boost for Cambourne Youth Centre

Boost for Cambourne Youth Centre

A new purpose-built centre for young people in Cambourne is set to be completed earlier than initially planned, after South Cambridgeshire District Council agreed to loan Cambourne Town Council funds towards the project.

As part of the planning agreement for the Cambourne West development, the Town Council is set to receive a contribution of £500,000 from the developers towards the youth building. However, this funding will only become available to the Town Council in around three years, when people move into the 300th home on the development. To help make sure the Town Council can complete the new youth centre as soon as possible, South Cambridgeshire District Council has agreed to provide a loan to bridge the gap.

The loan was recommended by the Council's Cabinet, and subsequently approved by Full Council, so the building will be completed sooner to meet the growing demand for a new youth centre in Cambourne. It also means the centre will be in place to meet the needs of those moving into the Cambourne West development from the earliest possible stage.

Construction work is already underway at Back Lane and the new youth centre is expected to be completed in February 2022. The new building will be a highly insulated timber structure and feature solar panels, air source heat pumps and LED lighting to minimise its carbon footprint. There will be covered cycle parking and young people will be part of a project to plant surrounding trees and hedges to develop skills and promote the importance of ecology in Cambourne. It will replace the dated Cambourne Soul building on Back Lane which has been in place since 2006 and is now considered too small for Cambourne’s growing population.

There will be a main hall, club room, studio space, kitchen, office and counselling room. There are plans for open access drop-in sessions for young people when the new building is complete, along with the space to better cater for young people who are isolated or disabled. It will act as a hub from where activities can be organised; a focal point for youth activities in Cambourne.

Cambridgeshire County Council has also assisted by giving a Communities Capital Fund Grant of £237,000 to enhance the youth building, and support activities for young people during the recovery from COVID-19, to help address social isolation.

Joe O’Dwyer, Chair of Cambourne Town Council said: “We would like to thank South Cambridgeshire District Council for recognising the great need for improved facilities for young people in Cambourne and helping us to build an inclusive, ‘fit for purpose’ building to meet their needs. This is an investment in young people and will provide them with greater opportunities to positively express themselves, learn new skills and to explore and realise their potential. This loan is a great example of partnership working creatively to enrich our community and ultimately benefit us all.”

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, Cllr John Williams, said: “We are pleased to have stepped-in to provide a loan that will mean this building is completed as soon as possible. I can’t wait to see Cambourne’s young people using the fantastic new facility. It makes sense to provide this loan now as the alternative would have had seen Cambourne’s young people deprived of a youth centre that meets their needs for several years yet. It is a real social investment in the future of Cambourne.”

South Cambridgeshire District Council Leader, Cllr Bridget Smith, added: “It’s fantastic that we have been able to provide this support for Cambourne’s very deserving young people. When you consider the impact that COVID has had on their social lives, it’s clear how badly this new centre is needed. I’m equally pleased to read about the building’s green credentials and the emphasis that the Town Council has placed on reducing its carbon footprint as much as possible.”