BURTON Albion Community Trust has volunteered to take over the running of a Burton youth centre and plans to turn into a vibrant hub for the area.Burton Albion’s charity off-shoot has a short team lease on The Grange Centre from today (April 1st) and is negotiating a longer term deal with Staffordshire County Council, which owns the building.
The authority has had to wield a heavy axe on youth services as it looks to meet tough budget targets, which has left a gap at the Grange Street premises, which Burton Albion Community Trust (BACT) is aiming to fill. BACT uses the pulling power of the football club to engage with thousands of people in a wide range of activities every week. In the long term, the trust would hope to widen the Grange Street centre’s activities to deliver a full range of benefits to the community.
Andy Taylor, the trust’s head of community, said: “We were made aware that the centre was available for a community or voluntary organisation to take over the management and we knew we wanted to get involved straight away. We have worked with key partners for the last few months to come up with a plan that will make sure that it can become a sustainable community centre going forward, so we are delighted that we now have a short term agreement and hopefully we can tie up a longer term contract soon.”
The trust is hoping to run the centre for 18 months initially and will deliver activities that aren’t just youth based.
Andy says: “We are looking at the full approach – parent and child programmes, disability projects and so on. It’s about creating a thriving hub for the area.
“This won’t displace anything we already do, we want to target new people. The location allows us to engage with people who might not be able or want to come to the Pirelli Stadium. The new hub will be on their doorstep and will be very accessible.”
After any deal is finalised, the centre will be renamed the Burton Albion Community Hub and the trust’s health and inclusion outreach team will be based there. Volunteers will be recruited to assist running the site and the delivery of the programmes.
Andy says: “From today (April 1st), people are welcome to drop in and find out more and see what we are doing. There’s a lot of work we want to do to the site initially and then we will be holding an open day later in April. We will throw open the doors and people can see what they can get involved.”
BACT chair Fleur Robinson says: “The trust has already had a tremendous impact on the community and we saw this as an opportunity to reach even more people with our ever-growing programme. The centre will become a vibrant hub for the trust’s activities and will be easily accessible and welcoming for all ages. We look forward to working with the community to make it a huge success and a valuable asset.”