Axminster’s refurbished youth centre set to reopen soon with an open day planned this Saturday

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Axminster’s long-closed youth centre – now stripped of its dangerous asbestos - is set to reopen soon.

Residents and families are invited to a sneak preview of the refurbished premises, in Lyme Road, between noon and 3pm on Saturday, November 3.

There will be activities for people of all ages including face painting, karaoke, dressing up, refreshments and prizes.

The centre was closed in February for a complete refit and removal of asbestos, which had limited how young people had been able to use the building.

Now it is reopening on Tuesday, November 6, with a new music room, fully equipped with instruments and DJ equipment, a well-appointed arts room and a main hall for communal activities, including a pool table.

The building is now fully accessible to people with disabilities, and includes a lift to the first floor, which will be used by Petroc College for some of its courses.

Around 30 to 40 young people are expected to use the youth centre during evening sessions from November, many of whom have for the past seven months been using the county council’s mobile youth vehicle.

Stuart Barker, the county council’s cabinet member with responsibility for the service, told The Herald: ““We have been very pleased to be investing in young people’s services.

“I’m delighted that they’re getting back a hugely improved resource. If we want to see young people being supported and helped with advice, activities and the opportunity to learn new skills, we have to ensure that the right locations are available to them. As a pay-back we will want to encourage them to carry out voluntary work in their local community.”

Axminster mayor and county councillor Andrew Moulding allocated council funds for the centre to include a new kitchen.

He said: “I’m delighted with the new building, and young people will also see a tremendous difference in the way the facilities have been improved.”

The hall and the kitchen will also be available for the community to use, for events or children’s parties during the day or at weekends.

Said Cllr Barker: “We’re hoping that local people will want to come along to our preview opening on Saturday to have a good look around and to enjoy some of the activities that we’ll be laying on.

“Everyone’s welcome and it’ll be a great opportunity for teenagers to meet the new area youth worker and team.”

The refurbishment has been completed by local builders, Bagwells. For details of booking and availability, contact Kate Metcalfe on 01297 32820 or 01404 813195.

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