Bungay youth centre to open soon

Emily DennisWork is almost complete on a new youth facility in Bungay that has been made possible thanks to �50,000 raised in funding.Emily Dennis

Work is almost complete on a new youth facility in Bungay that has been made possible thanks to �50,000 raised in funding.

It is hoped the project, being spearheaded by the Bungay Youth Partnership with the support of the town council, should be up and running by the end of this month.

The youth facility will occupy the basement of the premises at the top of Bridge Street and is to be named The Bunka .

Young people have been involved in deciding what they would like from the centre and will have a say in how it is decorated and run.

Simon Thompson, chairman of the Bungay Youth Partnership and a town councillor, said the project had taken about two years to come to fruition.

'The building was most recently a kebab shop. We took it over about a year ago with the idea of turning it into a youth and community venture,' he said. 'The idea is that the young people will run it and there will be youth workers on hand to supervise. At the end of the day the main aim is to get the young people running it for themselves.'

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The listed building in the town centre has been overhauled to provide disabled access and toilet facilities, a kitchen, an internet caf� and a snug where youngsters can sit and watch television. There will also be a small hair salon and Mr Thompson said youngsters may have an opportunity to do apprenticeships.

The funds for the venture have come from a variety of sources including the Community Cashback Scheme, The Suffolk Foundation, The Rural Economy Scheme, The Geoffrey Watling Charity and the Youth Opportunities Scheme.

Mr Thompson said it was now time for young people to get behind the project and make it a success.

He also thanked people involved in the project including local builder Reuben Shepherd and suppliers who have offered items at low prices.

Bungay mayor John Warnes, who toured the facility at the weekend, said: 'I think this is a wonderful idea for the young people of the town.'

Dani Sewell, 16, who is on The Bunka committee, said: 'This is a really good idea and I think people will use it. It is going to be somewhere warm where people can come and relax and watch television.'

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