A charity has stepped in to secure the future of youth and arts groups in Deeping St James by taking over a community building.
Deeping St James United Charities has reached an agreement with Lincolnshire County Council to take ownership of half of The Cross School in Eastgate.
The charity already owns one half of the building, which was until recently used by the Deepings Youth Centre group. But it decided to act after the council revealed plans to buy the whole building, potentially in order to sell it.
The charity now expects to sign the paperwork in the new year so it can provide a base for the Deepings Youth Centre, along with Ministry of Dance and other arts and community groups.
Chairman of trustees for the charity Carole Precey said she was delighted with the deal.
“We have found a situation where we can run a youth club, revamp the building and make money for the charity. All the income will get distributed to the parishioners,” she added.
Deepings Youth Centre trustee Paul Hanson, who has run the group for years, said: “We feel it’s a positive step. We are going to run the club three times a week and hopefully attract a lot more people.”
The youth centre trustees have hired a part-time worker to help run and promote the club, and hope to get the word out to schools in the Deepings.
The club was previously home to numerous bands and ran all sorts of activities, from go-kart building to projects with the police.
Joining the youth club will be Ministry of Dance, run by Tracy Macullum. Tracy will take on the leasehold of the building and will sublet to the youth club.
Ministry of Dance has 150 children aged between two and 18, and the same number again of adult dancers, but is currently using whatever space it can find.
“This will mean a lot to us,” she said. “It gives the pupils somewhere to come and be focussed. We are installing specialised flooring for extra safety, and it gives parents a sense of security.
“We want to see it become a hub for arts and youth.”
Author Ellie Sandall is also interested in setting up a studio at the building, and hopes to run an arts club for children.
“It will be nice to have somewhere the community can focus,” said Carole.