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Community clubs forced to move as Great Yarmouth health site becomes children’s centre

PUBLISHED: 14:49 06 January 2014 | UPDATED: 14:49 06 January 2014

The Cobholm & Lichfield Health and Resource Centre in Pasteur Road is being converted into a children's centre. 

Picture: James Bass

The Cobholm & Lichfield Health and Resource Centre in Pasteur Road is being converted into a children's centre. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2009

A health centre in Great Yarmouth is being converted into a childcare facility, creating 50 much-needed places for the seaside town.

The transformation of the Cobholm and Lichfield Health and Resource Centre (CLHRC) in Pasteur Road has been widely welcomed with the 50 new childcare places expected to have a “tangible benefit” to the community. The change does, however, means community groups currently using the centre will be forced to move out.

The CLHRC, next door to the Nelson Medical Centre, is operated by the business-support and enterprise body NWES.

Karen Bolton, property manager for NWES, said it was working with community groups, such as the Great Yarmouth Stroke Group and a Parkinson’s support group, to find alternative venues before building work began in February.

In a statement, she said: “The facility will ensure the ongoing sustainability and future of the CLHRC.

The centre had previously received its income working with the local primary care trust, but this ceased in 2013 due to cut backs, since then NWES has been working to find a solution to continue for the centre to stay open.

“While the conversion takes place the centre will still be able to accommodate the existing community groups that make use of the premises and NWES are working with the users to find long-term suitable accommodation to meet their needs once the conversion work is complete,” the statement added.

NWES has secured a £100,000 grant from the Norfolk Community Foundation to carry out the conversion. Once complete, Cobholm and Lichfield Childcare will be able to look after up to 90 children at the centre at one time, 50 more than it currently does.

Ms Bolton said the extension would transform the CLCC into “one of the largest childcare providers in the local area” and would assist local families with the rising cost of childcare.

She added: “The newly created childcare places will be funded which will allow qualifying families to make use of up to 15 hours of free childcare spaces per week and will assist in reducing the deficit between the number of spaces available and the number required.”

The building work at the centre is due to be completed by the end of March ready to accommodate the new intake of children in April.

nThe Great Yarmouth Stoke Group – a social and rehabilitation club with about 30 members, is looking for somewhere to meet from 2pm to 4pm every Thursday. To offer help, call Sue Casey as soon as possible on 01493 781846.

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