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Crossing to close down

PUBLISHED: 11:44 22 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:07 05 July 2010

the Crossing in Lowestoft is to close its doors for the last time in the next few weeks after more than 11 years of running services for the unemployed and the people of Waveney.

the Crossing in Lowestoft is to close its doors for the last time in the next few weeks after more than 11 years of running services for the unemployed and the people of Waveney.

The need for major renovations has combined with staff shortages and cuts in funding from Waveney District Council to force the closure of the building, on the corner of High Street.

The Crossing opened in response to high jobless rates and initially opened its doors as a TUC centre for the unemployed.

But in later years it broadened its objectives, aiming to become a community resource centre dedicated to adult learning and bringing people together from all age groups.

It started life as a drop-in centre, and to many of its users it still remains a friendly, busy space.

Waveney Community House Trustees said this week that the building was closed at present for casual use but continued to serve users who had paid for courses.

A spokesman said: “This demise has been brought to a head due to circumstances beyond its control.

“The WCHT at a recent meeting decided to bite this bitter pill and close its doors due in part to an unfortunate mix of council cuts amounting to over £13,000, which, taking overhead utility costs and the coming year's staff wage increases into account, is far more draconian.

“A further blow has been added to this bitter mix, which has seen its doors closed intermittently during this period as a result of staff shortages due to long-term sickness and stress, further exacerbated by the council's insistence on achieving agreed targets within its strict monitoring regime of value for money as a part of its recently- instituted quarterly review.”

The building also needed a major renovation project

The spokesman added: “Although doors close, other doors can open, and Waveney TUC, as a component part of the trust and one of The Crossing's prime springboards, is hoping in the very near future to announce the beginning of another venture which will try to re-create this same casual drop-in ethos but in a different guise and with funding drawn from many sources.”

Waveney council spokeswoman Julie Fitzgerald said it was saddened to learn of The Crossing's decision to close.

She added that the council had provided it with financial support since the day it opened.


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