Prudhoe Community Partnership has announced an ambitious scheme to redevelop the East Centre on Front Street as a purpose built hub for young people in Prudhoe. Click the video above for a ‘fly through’ of what the new facilities could look like
PCP has consulted young people involved with Prudhoe Youth Project and other youth groups in the town and has commissioned the local firm of Newton Architects to produce an initial design for public consultation.
We public a public consultation in January which showed a 75% support for the scheme and gave us valuable ideas to build into out plans.
The proposals are for a new building with flexible interior space which will be designed to ‘passivhaus’ standards which will be energy efficient and economical to run. There will be outdoor space for a gardening project and hard standing for ball games.
Whilst the old buildings are part of a much cherished heritage and have many happy memories for many people in Prudhoe, we sadly do not consider them suitable for providing good facilities for young people in the future – which is our main aim in taking on this project. Newton Architects confirm that the old buildings cannot be restored to provide the flexible spaces we require.
The existing Victorian buildings are dilapidated and deemed beyond realistic repair. The architects estimate the cost of restoring the buildings at £1.1m but do not recommend this option as the main building is past reasonable repair. The cost of restoring the Open Door building and rebuilding the school building is estimated at £1.2m and the cost of demolishing both existing buildings and building anew is estimated at £1.4m.
Stone from the old buildings will be used to create a new building that can be configured in different ways and used for different activities and produce a building fit for purpose as a youth hub for the future. It would be much more efficient to run and cost a third of running the old buildings.
East Centre is owned by Northumberland County Council and the Partnership will apply for an ‘asset transfer’ on a similar basis to the Spetchells Centre which it built on the site of the former library 10 years ago,
The Partnership will have to raise the money for the new building and show it can run the building thereafter in order for the transfer to take place. The building is a potential home for a number of youth groups including Prudhoe Youth Project and Mortal Fools.
This is an exciting long term project both for young people and the town as a whole. Whilst we are sad to see the historic buildings go, they will make way for a striking new development on the main approach to the town and provide young people with first class new facilities”
The scheme is in its early stages and ideas are welcome. The Project will take several years hard work to complete. In the meantime, the youth work sessions at East Centre will continue to take place in the current buildings.