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Proposal for new youth centre in Oakham

Rutland County Council offices in Oakham

Rutland County Council offices in Oakham

A new centre for youth services and emergency accommodation could be developed in the centre of Oakham.

Rutland County Council hopes to transform its old housing office in Cold Overton Road into a youth centre with rooms for vulnerable teenagers at risk of homelessness.

The project would be funded through the sale of Jules Youth Centre in Melton Road and contributions from housing developers. It is expected to cost £849,000 during the first five years.

The scheme has already been approved by members of the cabinet but must also be given the go ahead by full council before a planning application can be submitted.

Council leader Roger Begy (Con) said: “When a young person is at genuine risk of being homeless it is vital the council is able to step in, but it’s not cheap with an out of county placement with support costing as much as £1,000 a week.

“The opportunity to base our youth service staff and provide supported housing in the heart of Oakham is an opportunity that Cabinet supported wholeheartedly.”

Since 2009 the council has been contacted by 32 young people who need supported accommodation. Some have had to be housed outside of the county.

The new centre would be able to house five young people and offer a base for the council’s youth workers to provide support and recreational activities for 11 to 19-year-olds.

The current Jules Youth Centre is owned by a charitable trust which was set up in memory of Oakham teenager Julia Weight who died of a brain haemorrhage. Her family and the trust have agreed to sell the building and donate the proceeds to the new project.

Coun Begy said: “We are extremely pleased to have the full support of the Weight family.”

A final decision will be made at a meeting on Monday, January 6 at 7pm at the council offices in Oakham.

If plans are approved, the building could open in September 2014.

 

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