Northamptonshire youth centre given green light for major refurbishment

Phoenix Youth Centre
Phoenix Youth Centre

A Northamptonshire youth centre has been the go-ahead to continue with plans for a large-scale refurbishment, including a new gymnastics hall and improved facilities for disabilities.

The Phoenix Youth Centre in Daventry was granted planning permission by Daventry District Council, but still needs to secure £900,000 in funding before work can begin in 2015.

Phoenix Centre president and gymnastics coach, Elaine Bedford, said that these works will include an extension to the gymnastics hall and its equipment, such as two floor-level trampolines, improved facilities for those with disabilities and the provision of “more comprehensive facilities” for young people in Daventry.

She said: “We are delighted with the council’s decision as this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make the Phoenix fit for purpose to meet the ever growing demand from the young people in the community to use our club.”

Part of the funding is already being provided by the Sports England Improvement Fund and £125,000 has been given by the Daventry council. The Phoenix management committee is also looking towards the support of local business partners to help secure the remaining £900,000.

Miss Bedford said: “Our priority now is to raise the rest of the money that we need to make this dream come true. We will be talking to developers that are involved in new residential projects in the district who have expressed an interest in helping us as part of their commitment to improving community facilities in the Daventry area. Some of them have indicated to us already they would be willing to fund the full amount required to ensure that we can now go ahead with modernising the building.”

The Phoenix welcomes more than 700 visits to the centre per week, and more than 36,500 every year, with its facilities for both sport and music recording. It also forecasts a rise to more than 50,000 visits per year from young people over the next 10 years.