By Carl Jackson Thursday 14 March 2013 Updated: 15/03 14:52
RUBERY Youth Centre which was due to shut its doors at the end of 2012 will now remain open until the end of June, Worcestershire County Council has announced.
Bromsgrove organisation EPIC will become the new provider for youth services in the village from April 1 and has agreed with the council to keep the building on New Road open for another three months.
The Charford-based company is currently in talks with people in Rubery on alternative venues from July onwards.
Worcestershire County Council announced it would no longer be running the facility at a cabinet meeting in October last year as it looks to save money by commissioning out youth services.
The latest news marks something of a U-turn from the authority after it originally ignored pleas from campaigners to keep the centre open until June.
At the October meeting, cabinet members declared the building an ‘embarrassment’ and ‘unfit for purpose’.
However in December, the county council decided to delay its closure until the end of March after touted providers Youth Sanctuary withdrew its application to take over the service in Rubery.
Paul Finnemore, the county council’s commissioning manager for young people’s services, said the decisions had been made because the council was committed to making sure there would not be a ‘gap’ in provision during the transition.
Jamie Davies, who has led the campaign to keep the centre open, welcomed the news.
“The young people have been really enthusiastic and helpful and this little bit of leeway shows the work has paid off.”
He added initial discussions with EPIC had been positive and he was optimistic about the future of youth services in the area.
Debbie Roberts, managing director of EPIC, said: “We are really excited and looking forward to working closely with the young people of Rubery to see how we can continue the good work going forward.
“Keeping the centre open for a few months allows us to do joint planning with them in this transition phase.”
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