New cash crisis at youth club

By David Newble

Saturday, September 29, 2012

 

New cash crisis at youth club

The Pavilion in East Cowes is under threat of closure.

AN AWARD-winning Isle of Wight youth facility is under threat of closure for the second time in a year — because of an on-going cash crisis.

Treasurer of the East Cowes Pavilion, Jim Whitehead, told members of East Cowes Town Council on Wednesday the youth facility would close at the end of October, if the charity was unsuccessful in its bid for £30,000 from a London-based fund.

The Isle of Wight Council’s statutory obligations for youth provision in East Cowes were being met at the Yorkie Bar. However, the authority was working hard to ensure the growing need for youth services in the town were met and enhanced.

Four youth workers employed by the Pavilion charity would be made redundant if the closure went ahead.

The grim news was delivered to members of the town council at the meeting staged to thrash out ways in which the Pavilion could obtain additional funding and remain open.

Mr Whitehead said bids to get cash from both Children in Need and Comic Relief had been unsuccessful.

Instead, the Pavilion was pinning its hopes on a £30,000 cash injection from the Henry Smith Foundation, which it felt confident of getting, but it would know for sure in the next couple of weeks.

Mr Whitehead said: "If we receive a letter saying no, redundancy notices go out and we would shut at the end of October. We have not got the funds to continue."

The facility, which won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2010, first came under threat early this year. But it was given a stay of execution thanks to cash from East Cowes Town Council, the police, the Isle of Wight Council, Spectrum Housing Group and Barratt Homes.

Cllr Morris Barton said he believed it was the responsibility of the Isle of Wight Council to provide youth facilities and proposals for them at the former Grange Road school would not happen overnight.

Councillors agreed to donate town council funds to the Pavilion at their next meeting and to look at further ways to obtain more cash.

Reporter: davidn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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