Plan to relocate services in Sawtry is given backing of council

PUBLISHED: 13:14 13 July 2017

The proposal was unveiled by Cambridgeshire County Council.

The proposal was unveiled by Cambridgeshire County Council.

Archant

Changes to the way youth, children’s and library services are delivered in Sawtry have been given the backing of county councillors.

Cambridgeshire County Council is planning to house the village’s library, youth centre, children’s centre and early help services under one roof.

It will see the four organisations move into the current Sawtry Youth Centre, in Green End Road, and a refurbishment costing more than £100,000 take place.

The plan emerged after Sawtry Village Academy contacted the county council in February to request the village’s library, which is currently housed in the school, be relocated to allow the school’s sixth form to be moved into the space.

Councillor Simon Bywater, county council member for Sawtry, said: “It [Sawtry Youth Centre] is an old building and it was suggested by the county council that it was surplus to requirements and was to be sold it if it wasn’t going to be used by the secondary school.

“However, when the school served notice on the library the parish council and the county council had discussions about relocating some of the services in the village.”

In addition, it was found that Sawtry Children’s Centre was also facing potential space constraints in its current location in Sawtry Infant School, and was included in the proposal.

The plan to revitalise the youth centre, which is currently run by Sawtry Parish Council, was put before the authority’s assets and investment committee and was given the green light to approve potential costs.

Funds for the project are expected to be found from with the existing budgets of the services as the scheme had not initially been included within the council’s plan for 2017/18.

When finished, it is hoped that the centre will become a community hub for local groups and organisations.

“Ultimately other organisations can benefit from the use of it. The project will hopefully turn the centre into a community hub which I am trying to push forward,” said Cllr Bywater.

It is likely that the new centre will be ready by April 2018 as, under the notice served by the school, the library has to be relocated

by August next year at the latest.

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