I received an e-mail today from the YMCA which read as follows:
“Update on Former DCC South Molton Youth Centre
I promised you I would keep you up to date with new developments around YMCA Exeter’s plan to take on the DCC Youth Centre in South Molton which has now been shut. Perhaps predictably, it has been quite a tricky process, with many legal and financial issues to address on top of the actual mechanics of how to make the centre financially viable. I am not in a position yet to give you any definite news, but there has been significant progress, so I thought I ought to update you.
South Molton has been by far the most straightforward of the three centres YMCA is looking at, and I am particularly grateful to Andrew Coates of the Town Council, as well as the town councillors themselves, for their unstinting support and practical assistance. County Councillor Jeremy Yabsley and the Town Council have also been generous with financial support to enable us to do all that is needed to change the centre into one that can be used by the wider community as well as young people.
This morning I submitted a bid to DCC for funding to enable us to “bridge the gap” between taking on the centre and building up enough rental bookings to make it financially viable, and provided that bid is granted, we can move rapidly with the legal processes.
Thanks to the pragmatic attitude of all parties, we seem to have dealt with the major legal issues that could have made our plans and hopes impossible, and the survey has not reported any major issues with the building (as you would hope, given that it is only a few years old).
All being well, we can proceed rapidly. The YMCA Exeter Board of trustees met last night and have given our plans their full backing.”
So well done Andrew Coates (deputy Town Clerk), South Molton Town Council and Jeremy Yabsley (our County Councillor) – and of course the YMCA for being prepared to run a facility which Devon County Council decided to close!