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'Exciting new era' for Kirkley centre

PUBLISHED: 17:18 28 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:29 06 July 2010

AN exciting new era began for a community centre in south Lowestoft when it was officially launched by the town's mayor.

Mayor of Lowestoft Malcolm Cherry cut the ribbon last Friday to officially open the recently-renovated Kirkley Centre in London Road South.

AN exciting new era began for a community centre in south Lowestoft when it was officially launched by the town's mayor.

Mayor of Lowestoft Malcolm Cherry cut the ribbon last Friday to officially open the recently-renovated Kirkley Centre in London Road South.

Mr Cherry, who was accompanied by his wife Yvonne who is a Waveney councillor for Kirkley, said he was looking forward to seeing the building play an increasingly important role in the town's community life.

“This is a magnificent building with first class facilities and I am very excited by the benefits it will bring to a wide range of people,” said Mr Cherry.

There was a large crowd of invited guest and users of the centre for the official opening.

Newly-elected Waveney MP Peter Aldous was also there to show his support for the venture.

The building is owned by Waveney Community Forum and chief officer Martyn Burnside paid tribute to everyone who has worked to complete the renovation on time.

“Everyone has worked so hard to get to where we are today and we want to be able to offer a great service to as many people as possible,” he said.

Christine Pinsent, chair of trustees, said: “We want to see the building become a well used and valued part of the local community able to offer a variety of services to the voluntary and community sector and to offer professional resources to businesses.”

There is space that can be hired out for meetings or rented out in the longer term and there will always be a friendly face at the front desk.

Waveney Community Forum is now based at the Kirkley Centre and team members will continue to be on hand to support and develop the voluntary and community sector offering a variety of services including: training, one to one support, access to funding information, forum membership, equipment hire and research and administration support.

There was a double celebration at the Kirkley Centre as part of the re-launch as the local Adult Learner Achievement Awards ceremony also took place.

A NEW youth café will open its doors at the Kirkley Centre this evening. Run by the Youth and Connexions Service and Waveney Community Forum with Lowestoft police's central safer neighbourhood team, it will aim to give local young people a place to go for advice and support.

Police community support officer Ailsa McNamara, who came up with the idea for a youth café a year ago, said: “This is a great opportunity for young people to drop in for a drink and to catch up with some friends. I enjoy getting to know people and I hope this will make both myself and the constabulary more approachable to youngsters in the area.”

Karen Booth, from the Youth and Connexions Service, said: “Kirkley has been in need of a place for young people to meet in a safe environment on a Friday night for some time so it's good to see this project coming together so successfully.

“Young people have been involved in planning the youth café, so this is something that has very much come from the community.”

The café is open for young people aged 13 to 17. It is open this Friday from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and then between those hours every other Friday.

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