People power secures future of Silsden Youth and Community Centre
A community centre will officially reopen next month following eight months of work by volunteers.
A group of residents took over Silsden Youth Centre on April 1 in order to keep it open following Bradford Council spending cuts.
The building in Elliot Street has been renamed Silsden Youth and Community Centre to promote its use by people of all ages in the town.
The reopening ceremony takes place on December 11 as part of a Christmas party running from 11am to 4pm.
Jill Cook, director of Silsden Youth Community Interest Company which runs the centre, said:
“Volunteers have been working hard to make sure that the building is maintained and that people started to use the facility.
“So far we have hired the centre to Sports Coaching England which has run three Sports Camp weeks and will be running another Christmas-themed Sports Camp holidays.
“Rugbytots have started to use the facility this month and several people have hired the centre for children’s parties. Bricks4Kids ran ‘The Best Week Ever’.”
Early next year Gem Compliance will run first aid courses, including its new Flat Stan first aid for children course.
Mrs Cook added:
“The Youth Club continues to use the facility and it is supporting us by helping with the current refurbishment in the main room.”
The volunteers are carrying out the refurbishment with materials donated by firms in the area while companies including Morrisons have donated items for the Christmas party.
Residents came together in February to save the centre after Bradford Council decided to pull out at the end of the 2015/16 financial year.
An initial public meeting brought together people who already ran children’s activities, and a martial arts group in Silsden.
They were supported by Councillor Adrian Naylor (Ind, Craven) to set up a group with a constitution, which could approach Bradford Council about taking over responsibility.
The Council agreed to continue providing youth workers in Silsden, but could not afford to run the building itself.
Silsden mayor Peter Robinson will perform the ceremony on December 11 and characters Elsa and Olaf from the Disney film Frozen will meet and greet children from 11am until 1pm.
Anyone willing to fund a project at the centre should call Jill Cook on 07794 366439.