Shock as Aveley Community Centre set to close its doors.

AVELEY Community Centre is set to close its doors.

A spokesperson for the community statement said: "It is with deep regret that we have to announce that the Aveley Youth & Community Centre faces closing down with our youth services finishing on Thursday 15th September. This is due to our funding running out and a gap until we move into the new building. Over the last eight years we have raised around £1.5 million to run and staff the Centre but we now come to the end of our funding.

We currently have funding bids out with Children In Need and the Lottery as well as many smaller funders. We feel very positive that these will be successful bids but we have about a three month gap until we find out due to the time it takes these funders to process the bids. Once we move into the new build centre we will be able to generate enough income to keep running without relying on outside funders. We just have to survive the gap.

Although we have had no statutory or council funding, we are working with our councillors and with Thurrock Council to see if there is any way the council can help us until we know whether or not we are successful in our funding bids or until we move into the centre next year.

However we do not have an answer yet and to meet our legal requirements we have had to make the members of the youth team redundant and this will come into effect on the 15th. If funding is agreed before that date then we will be able to keep the centre open.

We have always enjoyed the support of the residents of Aveley but if you wish to make your support known, please contact us at ray@aveleycf.org.uk or our local councillors via Luke Spillman at lspillman@thurrock.gov.uk and we will make sure the right people at the council get to see them.

We plan to keep going until we move into the new centre if at all possible and your support can help us achieve this.

Cllr Spillman said: "The youth and community services this project provides are an integral part of village life in Aveley.

Cllr Aker, Cllr Smith and myself have contacted the council regarding the cash flow problems that the centre is encountering and have requested that the council step in to provide interim support.

"The social cost of the closure of this centre will be felt extremely hard by local residents. We must do everything we can to prevent this. At this stage I see no other option other than the council providing interim financial assistance.’

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