It was good to see Westside open as a Polling Station for the recent elections.
I have been contacted by YMCA Exeter who tell me that, following some stumbling blocks, they are trying to re-gain momentum on Westside, with a view to re-opening the centre in the early autumn.
In terms of an update, the “heads of terms” on the lease have been agreed, so it is a matter of sorting out the finer details, which always takes longer than expected. YMCA Exeter have appointed a firm of surveyors to seek tenders for repairing the roof so that this can start as soon as they gain possession – they feel there is no point opening the centre and then close it a few weeks later for repairs. The funding is in place for getting the centre up and running, and they are seeking funding to get youth work re-started there as soon as possible.
As a next step, they want to hold another consultation meeting, but this time get as many people from the local community along as possible.
Unfortunately they cannot use Westside (Health and Safety concerns, etc.), but thankfully the Baptist Church nearby in Dorset Avenue have kindly agreed to host a meeting on 01 July.
Peter Stephenson, Chief Executive of YMCA Exeter, has outlined a number of ams for the meeting
1.To reassure people that the centre will re-open
2.To get community input on how we develop the centre
3.To get the community “on side” so they help us minimise vandalism in the meantime
4.To get community support (moral, volunteering, etc.)