Corby youth centre site could be sold

The launch of Youth Works at the Connaughty Centre in Corby in August 2010
The launch of Youth Works at the Connaughty Centre in Corby in August 2010
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The site of a youth centre in Corby which needs repairs expected to cost up to £700.000 could be sold.

Northamptonshire County Council will seek permission to sell the site of the Connaughty Centre in Cottingham Road at a meeting of its cabinet on Tuesday, November 12.

The county council is the leaseholder of the Connaughty Centre and the attached McDiarmid sports hall and the site is owned by the Homes and Communities Agency.

The centre is used by Youth Works, a community interest company which delivers youth work projects and services, as part of a contract it has to provide services for young people on behalf of the county council until next May.

Deputy Leader of the county council, Cllr Heather Smith, said: “Although we are the leaseholder for these buildings, we don’t need them for the purposes of accommodating our staff or providing our own services. These buildings are surplus to our requirements.

“The running costs alone are £78,000 each year and as it stands, it would cost between £500,000 and £700,000 to carry out all the necessary repairs that have been identified.

“Given the financial challenges facing us, we’ve left no stone unturned in looking at ways of saving money without affecting vital services. Reducing our ever-growing property energy and maintenance costs is one way we can save money in the long term so it’s important that we look at the future of the Connaughty Centre in that context.

“It’s also important to remember that the savings for us relate to the running costs. Any sale proceeds would be used exclusively for the benefit of young people, as required by the conditions of the lease.

“We recognise the contribution that Youth Works make to young people in the area and we are committed to working with them to find alternative premises in Corby.”

The county council and Youth Works have been exploring options for it to continue to work from the Connaughty Centre but the authority says it has not been possible to find a financially viable way of the service continuing at the site.