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St Andrew’s Youth Centre, Coniston

The Diocese of Carlisle’s Board of Education is to recommend the closure and sale of one of its Youth Centres.

A report will go before the Diocesan Board of Finance on Wednesday 20th November, 2013, seeking approval for the closure of the St Andrew’s Youth Centre in Coniston.

It follows an independent review into the centre’s future which has identified that:

• patronage of the facility has declined meaning it has run at a loss in recent years

• and significant investment would be needed to upgrade the building for future use.

The Ven Kevin Roberts, Chair of the Board of Education, said: “The recommendation is being made with a heavy heart and we are mindful that this news will come as a significant disappointment to those who have been most closely connected to the centre down the years, not least those from within the life of St Andrew’s.”

St Andrew’s Youth Centre opened in 1970.

The independent report has noted that urgent repairs are now required to the property’s roof and windows. An asbestos survey is also needed.

Further upgrades and refurbishment including re-wiring, a new heating system, a new dormitory layout and disabled facilities could cost up to £500,000.

However figures show that for the last three years the centre has run at a deficit.

If approval is given to proceed with the sale, any proceeds would be ring-fenced by the Barchester Trust (which has held ownership of the building since 1980) for educational purposes within the Diocese of Carlisle.

The sale of the centre and associated land by the Diocese is likely to help meet local housing needs in Coniston.

The Ven Roberts added: “We are fortunate that within our Diocese we have two other Youth Centres at St John’s in the Vale and the Rydal Hall Youth Centre.

“These will continue to play a vital and co-ordinated role in contributing to the Diocesan Vision of growing disciples of all ages.”

If the recommendation to close St Andrew’s is approved, the centre will remain fully open for bookings until the end of August, 2014. It would close on 1st September, 2014.

As part of a consultation process, the centre’s Management Committee and associated Parochial Church Council have been kept fully informed as have three members of part-time staff who work at the centre.

If the Diocesan Board of Finance were to approve the closure of St Andrew’s Youth Centre, there would be further opportunity to comment on the decision at the Diocesan Synod in March 2014.


ends


For further information please contact Michael Mill, Director of Education, Children and Young People on 01228 815410 or Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Officer, on 07984 927434 or at carlisledco@gmail.com.

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