Emsworth residents can have their say as proposals for a new YMCA early years, youth and community centre at Redlands Grange are put forward

PROPOSALS for a new centre providing childcare, youth provision, and a social venue for the Emsworth community are being put to residents.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 12:30 pm

A new YMCA Emsworth early years, youth and community centre could be built at the entrance to Redlands Grange estate.

Centre project leaders are asking residents to have their say on the plans at a drop in session this month.

Emsworth councillor Richard Kennett, who lives on the estate, is on the project group.

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A different proposed design for YMCA Emsworth
A different proposed design for YMCA Emsworth

He said: ‘I’m supportive because I think there’s a great opportunity for new facilities for all ages in our community.

‘There’s not many facilities in the north of Emsworth but I’m also aware that some residents have some concerns, and we’re doing our best to address that.

‘I think it’s a great idea as there are few facilities for teenagers in Emsworth, and a shortage of early years provision.’

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One of the proposed designs for YMCA Emsworth

The early years centre would offer full day childcare for children aged five and below.

Young people would also have a dedicated indoor space to come together, access support, and build friendships.

An outside multi-use games area would also be built for young people to play sports.

There would also be an atrium area which would serve as a multipurpose space for people of all ages to enjoy social time and foster new skills and hobbies.

Sally Arscott is the development director at the YMCA Fairthorne Group, which covers Hampshire.

She said: ‘What’s really clear is that the growing number of housebuilding in Emsworth means there’s insufficient childcare. Parents are having to travel some distance to get childcare.

‘There’s virtually nothing for young people in Emsworth, and this would be a dedicated space for young people for support and friendship.

‘It will also provide a community venue for the wider community, adults and retired people, to meet for a coffee with a friend. It serves the whole community.’

Residents are invited to come and have their say about the proposed YMCA Emsworth Centre at a drop in session on Saturday, July 10, anytime from 11am to 2.30pm.

Meeting on the field at Redlands Grange where the centre would be, people will be able to meet the project team, review the latest designs, and share their thoughts.

Sally added: ‘Come along and give us your views - this is about building stronger communities, where people can meet their neighbours and feel a sense of connection.

‘We’ll display the plans we’ve got so far, and gather feedback from local people and take stock so we can decide where we go from here.’

The proposals for the centre have been developed with input from Havant Borough Council, the YMCA, and Emsworth community organisations.

A feasibility study is currently underway to determine the building design and gather feedback from the community, and a planning application would be put forward later this year.

The centre would be financed jointly between the council and the YMCA, but substantial additional fundraising would need to take place.

The earliest date a centre would be available is spring 2023.

Comments can also be sent to [email protected]

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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