Local business men, Chris Osman and Robert Metsoja have proposed a social enterprise using Sainsburys, Bridge Street as space for a hub to host charity and youth projects.
Chris Osman, manager of the newly opened Test Valley Thrift store and youth worker at #AY told Andover Radio that Andover and surrounding areas are “in desperate need of winter facilities that teenagers can use”. The message from the young people of Andover that #AY have spoken to is ‘There is nothing to do, its pretty boring here’ when asked what they would like to see for young people was ‘an indoor skate park, somewhere we can go with our mates’.
Sainsbury’s announced in September that they would be closing some stores across the country and that their Bridge Street store would be one of them.
The proposal, presented to Test Valley Borough council read “We have collectively realised the continual need for engagement and cohesion within the community. These austere and epidemic times have stretched our national finances and caused severe underfunding in public services.
“As such there is an urgent need, in Andover, for a professionally run all-weather venue for youth activity. Our proposal is to host an indoor skate park.
“We will supplement this with a café, periphery activities such as table tennis and parkour, a skate supply shop, workshop area and partitioned meeting booths or rooms for charity groups to meet and outreach or counselling to take place. The technicalities of operation are to be discussed during the funding stage and partners are being invited to join.
“Using the centre for skating will require membership, which is free. Discounts for families in receipt of welfare assistance will be available and encouraged. Covid operation is being thoroughly investigated as well. The skatepark will be funded with the money raised. Further funding will be needed for improved amenities. As a social enterprise we intend to raise capital using many grant channels on offer, corporate sponsorship and crowdfunding. The location and delivery timeline will be crucial along with engagement of the Andover Council.
“The school holiday seasons will be marketed heavily. Along with this we will open the doors to youth groups operating in the local area and provide tuition with industry professionals.
“Income will be supplemented thought the creation of a flexible space. We will be able to turn around into a corporate event space, utilising presentation equipment, video walls, basic lighting and sound.
“We will also provide a dedicated safe space hub zone for use by the Yellow Brick Road project that service users can find a space with all the counselling, information and internet facilities needed.
The group have launched a crowdfunding page to raise £15k for the initial infrastructure and equipment which went live on the 31st October 2020, and are looking for corporate sponsors to fund the ground rent for the first 12 months.
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