New community centre hope for Sprowston

Campaigners hoping to turn an empty youth services building into a community centre are hoping to find out this week whether the project is feasible.

Families in Sprowston are keen to see the Norfolk County Council-owned Integrated Youth Support Development Centre, housed in the Elementary School building in School Lane, pictured, turned into a community centre, as the area does not currently have one.

The youth services centre is due to be decommissioned on August 31 and calls have been made for the building not to stand empty but to be put back into use for the good of the community.

Sprowston Parish Council is hoping to acquire the building, which dates back to 1860, and has presented a business case to the county council. The parish council believes it is a 'wonderful opportunity' to save part of Sprowston's heritage and has been asking for potential users of the centre to get in touch.

Officers at Norfolk County Council have told the parish council that they will have first option on the future of the building, but the council is still waiting to find out how much it would cost to buy the centre.

June Hunt, parish clerk, said: 'We are waiting for information from the county council on how much they would want for it as that will determine whether it is feasible.'

A county council spokeswoman said: 'There's still further discussions to be had with the parish council but the position remains the same in terms of prioritising the local community.'

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Chloe Smith, pictured left, Norwich North MP, who has been campaigning for the building to become a community centre for Sprowston, said she was pleased the council had indicated first option would go to the parish council.

The parish council will meet to discuss the future of the building this Thursday. The meeting will be held at the council office in Recreation Ground Road, starting at 7.30pm.

People are welcome to attend but, because financial matters relating to the building will be discussed, the public will be excluded from parts of the meeting.

Are you trying to take over a community building? Call Evening News reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email