Delight as youth group granted lease on community hall

Centre E, in Barton Road, Ely.

Centre E, in Barton Road, Ely. - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire County Council has agreed to lease a key community building in Ely to a youth group.

Councillors on the general purposes committee approved an application from the Youth Ely Hub to lease Centre E, in Barton Road, on a peppercorn rent for a period of up to five years.

The building, described by the county council as a former Army drill hall, has faced an uncertain future in recent years as the county council has explored selling or redeveloping the site into housing.

But, having had little success, county officials were approached by the youth hub – an organisation backed by the City of Ely Council and East Cambridgeshire District Council – about taking on the premises on a short-term rent.

Councillor Elaine Griffin-Singh said she was a former member of a youth club which used to run at the centre and she was particularly keen that it should remain in community hands.

She said: “We want to get the word out that the groups currently using the centre should not be worried about being evicted or seeing their prices hiked.

“We have formed a trust and, with partners, intend to run a fantastic youth facility - the building is huge and will eventually be awesome.”

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Cllr Griffin-Singh said that the building was home to a number of teaching classrooms and was equipped for computer facilities and added that she had been approached about running apprenticeships from the venue.