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Deal heralds 50k for new children's centre

By Jo Deeks on Wednesday, 3rd October 2007.

A Run-down cummunity centre is to get a new lease of life when it becomes Haverhill's second children's centre.
"Chalkstone Community Centre in Strasbourg square is currently being underused, but a new deal has been rached between St Edmundsbury Borough Council which owns the building, and Suffolk County Council.
As part of the deal, a 50,000 grant from the county council's children's centre development fund will be used to improve the building and part of the building will be leased to the authority for use as a children's centre to provide information and drop-in services for families. The rest of the building will still be avaliable for community use.

Members of the borough council's cabinet agreed to a 25-year lease which is expected to generate an annual income of around 4,600 as well as contributions towards rates and service charges. The centre currently costs St Edmundsbury more than 11,000 to maintain.

Haverhill already has the Cartwheels Childcare Centre on the Clements estate. But the Chalkstone estate has been identified as having the largest population of children under five in the town and is part of a ward which is caregorised as being disadvantaged.

The On-Track service, which currently works with families in the town, is currently bassed in a vacant shop on the Chalksstone estate, but this would be integrated into the new venue.

The centre will offer support to children, carers and parents, information and advice on childcare, drop-in sessions and activities for children and carers and links to Jobcentre Plus services.

The government has set Suffolk the target of providing 34 children's centres by 2008 and the Haverhill area is due to have two centres ready and open by march 2008.

Haverhill Weekly News

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