YMCA Exeter have finally agreed terms with Devon County Council for the transfer of Westside to them.
There were some major issues that had to be resolved prior to making it possible for this happen – the biggest one was that the roof is old, in a bad condition and needs replacing at a cost of £57,000. DCC have agreed to cover the cost, but it has taken a while to get this approved.
The YMCA hope to have Westside open again by the summer holidays, but naturally this depends on the legal process. However, we have been assured Peter Stephenson, Chief Executive of YMCA Exeter, that “it will happen“.
The YMCA’s vision is to re-open Westside as a community facility that anyone can hire to run community services. They hope over time to develop (in partnership with other organisations) a range of services for young people, older people, and families.
Both Heather and Paul agree with Peter’s comments that “this is an exciting project that has the potential to strengthen the community in Cowick”, adding “over 18 months ago we had hoped that the centre could be turned into a facility that would bring people all ages together and it’s thanks to the YMCA, we are so close to seeing this turned into a reality.”
Cllr Roy Hill added “I’ve been working hard with DCC and the YMCA and was pleased to give £7000 from my Invest in Devon fund to the YMCA towards the cost of re-opening the centre.”
YMCA Exeter will be holding a community consultation meeting soon but if anyone would like to be added to the Westside mailing list and receive updates, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org