New City Centre Youth Venue backed by City Council

Press Release: 25/02/2010

New City Centre Youth Venue backed by City Council

Winchester’s YMCA has benefited from a £20,000 award from the City Council. The money is to help fund a new state of the art youth venue and café at St John’s House in the Broadway.

The YMCA in Winchester, which is one of the oldest in the world, is ploughing more than £300,000 of its own reserves into the capital and revenue costs of the project. However, it needs to raise an additional £150,000 to meet the overall cost. The £20,000 from Winchester City Council will help the YMCA on its way to meeting its fundraising target.

Announcing the award, Cllr John Cooper, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Communities and lead member for Winchester’s Children’s & Young People’s Partnership (WCYPP) said: “All agencies represented in the WCYPP have welcomed this proposal which is going to provide more opportunities to engage with young people in a broad range of youth work initiatives. What’s more, Winchester’s young people turned up in numbers at the full Council meeting last April asking for this exact kind of new facility.”

Cllr George Beckett, Leader of the City Council, added: “This will be a high class amenity for Winchester’s young people and the City Council is proud to be supporting it. The YMCA has had success with projects like this across the country, and we can’t ignore the fact that they are willing to invest more than £300,000 of their own resources in this important new facility for the City.”

YMCA Chief Executive, Mike Simpson, is pleased with the response to the appeal. He said: “I have had very positive meetings with the Leader and Portfolio Holder about our proposal and the City Council contribution will go a long way towards helping to raise the funds we need. We should be in a position to start the renovations very soon and we will continue to engage with young people as plans progress. We aim to build on our reputation for high quality youth work and our ambition is for this facility to be recognised nationally as an example of best practice.”

The YMCA is appealing for support from local trusts, businesses and the local community. Details of the Project & Fundraising Appeal can be viewed on the Winchester YMCA Website – www.ymcawinchester.org.uk