Community groups urged to help secure future of Satellite Centre

COMMUNITY GROUPS are being urged to step forward to secure the future of the popular Satellite Centre in Greenfield.

Oldham Council recently voted to remove youth provision from the centre on Wellington Road as part of their £35million savings during the next financial year.

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The Satellite Centre

Now a tenant is being sought to take over the running of the council-owned centre and keep the facilities open for community use.

Lisa Macdonald, District Co-ordinator for Saddleworth and Lees, told a Greenfield and Grasscroft Residents Association (GGRA) meeting that she hopes the building can become a multi-activity facility.

She continued: “We would love the centre to stay open for the benefit of the community but we need to find a tenant.

“It is a focal point for the whole of Saddleworth and Lees and it is really important it remains like that.”

A statement of particulars is being put together by the council’s assets team, who will then invite expressions of interest and plans to be submitted by potential tenants.

Miss Macdonald added: “We are hoping to support the future anchor tenant to get the most out of the centre. It has got so much more to offer.”

The centre is currently home to local groups and organisations including PASSinc, mother and toddler groups and GGRA.

But youth provision will no longer be provided there by the Council’s Youth Service, which has been reduced across the borough.

Instead, temporary sessions will be held at the Greenfield Conservative Club through a new Youth Local (YoLo) group set up by Helen Bishop.

Helen, a youth and community worker of 17 years, said: “My main concern is there will be a lot of young people in this area with nothing to do.

“We want to make sure they have somewhere fun but also safe to go where we can also give them any support they need.”

Sue Palfrey, District Youth Development Officer, added: “It is sad to lose staff and the provision but once everything is sorted we should have more people than ever using the centre.

“The number of people who have come forward to offer activities for our young people is wonderful. We wanted to make sure there wasn’t a gap in provision.

“Hopefully these activities might be available from the Satellite Centre once an anchor tenant is established.”

Mike Rooke, a representative for GGRA, suggested an informal committee comprising representatives from various local groups could work with a tenant to run the centre.

He added: “We would like to see whoever takes over as anchor tenant have some form of youth provision imbedded in their plans.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Satellite Centre or providing activities for young people in Saddleworth, contact Lisa Macdonald: please call 0161 770 5195 or email: lisa.macdonald@oldham.gov.uk

For more information on changes to youth services visit: www.oldham.gov.uk

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