Youth centre set to 
rise like a Phoenix

The development plans.
The development plans.

The Phoenix Centre in Daventry has been given planning permission for a major extension and renovation costing in the region of £1.5m.

The works, given permission by Daventry District Council, will see the dedicated gymnastics hall being extended to provide floor level trampolines and additional space and equipment, as well as improved facilities for those with disabilities.

A full refurbishment of the youth centre resource is also planned to enable the Phoenix to provide more comprehensive facilities for the young people of Daventry. Elaine Bedford, president of the centre, said: “We are delighted with the council’s decision as this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make the Phoenix fit for purpose to meet the ever-growing demand from the young people in the community to use our club.

“An Improvement Fund project with Sports England is dependent on this planning consent being granted along with certain other criteria, and we are currently working through this process with them.

“Our priority now is to raise the rest of the money that we need to make this dream come true.”

As well as the popular gymnastics club, there are also judo and boxing clubs based at the centre.

The Phoenix also runs music sessions for young people, provides a place for young people to hang out and has its own recording facilities. The guiding philosophy is to enable young people to organise the type of events and sessions they want.

Mrs Bedford added she is confident the full funding amount can be raised from local partners.

She added: “We will be talking to developers that are involved in new residential projects in the district who have expressed an interest in helping us as part of their commitment to improving community facilities in the Daventry area. Some of them have indicated to us already they could be willing to fund around £900,000 to ensure that we can go ahead with modernising the building.” It is hoped building work will start by the end of 2015.

Daventry District Council has already made £125,000 available for the extension and enhancement of centre, which provided the catalyst to allow other funding discussions to take place.