Church must keep youth club open on Grimsby's Nunsthorpe estate
CHURCH leaders must not close down a youth club on Grimsby's Nunsthorpe estate until another facility is opened.
That was the call to the church by Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell, who has urged a compromise in the financial crisis threatening the Nunsthorpe Together's use of St Martin's Church Hall.
As reported, the club is facing closure because it is claimed Nunsthorpe Together owes £140,000 in unpaid rent and maintenance to the Parochial Church Council for the use of the hall on Sutcliffe Avenue, Grimsby, where it hosts community activities.
Talks are underway, but the church wants the money or the group will have to leave.
Having spoken with senior clergy yesterday, Mr Mitchell said: "I have urged them to keep the church hall going and wipe out the debt.
"They should not close it until we have a new facility which is proposed for the old St Mary's School on Wootton Road.
"Nunsthorpe Together provides an important service. It has to be kept. It is clear they are unhappy with the situation, but there has to be a compromise."
As reported, a decision on the proposed new £1-million community hub at St Mary's is expected in the New Year.
Linda Dellow, chief officer at Second Avenue Resource Centre, said a bid to the European Regional Development Fund for about £600,000 had been submitted and a decision expected in January.
Further funding could come from the Department for Communities and Local Government.
She said: "At the Second Avenue Resource Centre we have reached full capacity.
"Having all the services under one roof would enable us to have a whole range of services with health initiatives and learning. It would be a positive move."
She said the new centre would provide children and youth services, health and well-being advice and economic opportunities for micro-businesses.
"We could have a number of workshops such as those for people mending bicycles, or those fixing engines, or garden services."
She said: "Having a larger facility would help as all our rooms are full and we are committed to improving the lives of young people and everyone in the neighbourhood."
Nobody from the PCC was available for comment, but a spokesman has previously told the Telegraph: "Nunsthorpe Together has never held a proper lease for the church hall. One was drawn up years ago but never signed.
"There are a lot of background problems and complications, but one of the main issues has been finance.
"As an act of goodwill, we have already asked around and looked for other venues to house the group if the decision was taken to move them out. Unfortunately, no one has come back to us."