A DYNAMIC board of trustees has been appointed to try to secure the future of a youth and community facility in Greenfield.
The move comes almost a year after Oldham Council withdrew provision of youth services from the Satellite Centre on Wellington Road, near Churchill Playing Fields.
Since then dedicated volunteers have been working tirelessly and have now formed Saddleworth Sports, Youth and Community Association (SSYCA), a fully constituted body, awarded charitable status by the Charity Commission.
Richard Bartlett is the new chair, backed by vice chairman Tony Burke – both members of The Rotary Club of Saddleworth – while GGRA stalwart Mike Rooke is secretary.
Now they are seeking to arrange a Community Asset Transfer with Oldham Council on a fixed term lease so they can transform the Satellite Centre into a vibrant hub for local use.
The initiative has been supported by Saddleworth Rotary, GGRA, Youth Local, Saddleworth School, Uppermill Football Club, Saddleworth Parish Council, Bright Futures School, MAHDLO, Saddleworth Air Cadets, RSPB and PC Nicola Hughes Memorial Fund.
Mr Bartlett explained: “We’ve worked closely with Voluntary Action Oldham, who’ve enabled us to function as a constituted group and serve the needs of our community with a strong business plan.
“There has been lot of hard work but it’s been well worth the effort and we genuinely believe we can create something special.
“There’s such potential. I’m confident we can transform this building into a vibrant community centre serving the needs of the Saddleworth area.
“The initiative will still be focused on young people but, with support from Uppermill Football Club and other partners, the building will now serve a wider range of social and community needs.”
SSYCA are applying to Police Commissioner Tony Lloyd’s Youth Aspiration fund for a start-up grant to help launch activities when the centre is reopened, involving Oldham Coliseum’s Educational Outreach team and local artists.
There are also plans to open a café catering training facility staffed by young people on the ground floor.
Mr Bartlett added: “These are exciting times for everyone involved. To get everyone around a table has proved a challenge, but what we’ve achieved so far has been amazing.
“The support we’ve had from our community has ticked every co-operative box in the book to get this show on the road.”
Anyone interested in supporting the venture can contact Mike Rooke: 01457 810666 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org