A huge debt faced by Aldbourne Youth Council for the refurbishment of its youth hub has been paid off before the builders move in.
With backing of local businessman and estate owner Brian Kingham the youth council paid £300,000 for the semi-derelict building in the centre of the village which will be known as the Community Junction. AYC has a 25-year lease on the building at a peppercorn rent.
However, one major obstacle stood in the way, a major restoration costing £175,000, including a new roof, before the young people could move in from their existing premises on the other side of the road.
But thanks to generous grants and their own fundraising the restoration bill was paid off this week with a final £50,000 grant from the Hill’s Group in Marlborough in the form of a landfill tax credit grant made possible through Community First.
Mike Hill, chief executive, went to the Community Junction with Helen Cotter from Community First to hand over the giant cheque.
Mr Kingham’s nine-year-old son William also went to the presentation to represent his father who lives at Aldbourne Chase.
AYC members admitted they would never have been able to acquire the building, let alone get the grants to cover its restoration, without the support of their trustees Andy Devey and Hazel Keen.
Mr Devey said: “Thanks to the generous grants we have been able to get, plus some fundraising, we are practically there.”
Other grants received by the project included £30,000 from the National Lottery’s Village SOS fund.
AYC has now been able to engage builders who will start work towards the end of July, Mr Devey said.
Facilities at the Community Junction will include an after-school café, a youth community room, a charity shop, an outside area, a small cinema and a chill-out area where the 13 plus age group can socialise.