Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Future's Bright as Myplace Opens Doors

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Future's Bright as Myplace Opens Doors

Article excerpt

Byline: SANDY McKENZIE

AN HISTORIC Middlesbrough building has been converted to provide a 21st Century facility for the borough's young people.

Youngsters have helped to plan and design the pounds 4.3m Myplace centre - which has been created in the Custom House in St Hilda's.

It will first open its doors on Monday and there will be an increase in activity at the centre over the coming few weeks.

But it comes as a raft of other public buildings in the borough face the axe after council budget cuts.

The listed building dates back to 1837 and its redevelopment was paid for through cash allocated by the previous Government.

Middlesbrough Myplace is one of 63 such centres across the country - they are also in the pipeline in Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland and Hartlepool.

Its range of facilities include: * Accommodation for various organisations providing support on issues including teenage pregnancy, drink and alcohol, and careers and training; * A youth club for up to 150 people; * A cafe and alcohol-free disco nights planned using state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems. The cafe will be staffed by young people - with the aim of developing it as a young persons' business; * A theatre space with modern lighting equipment created in the part of the building which - 150 years ago - was used as Middlesbrough Council's chamber; * A sensory room for use by young people with disabilities and for therapeutic treatments; * Film and recording studios and equipment which could enable the creation of a radio station; * An amphitheatre and allotments just outside the centre.

The project director Wendy Kelly said it is now three years since officials started to work with young people on the project - and that they had been faithful to the agreed bid.

"Now we just want to hear the noise of young people in the building, making use of it and benefitting from it," she added. …

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