Watton drop-in centre clears last hurdle

The final hurdle in a bid to give Watton youngsters a new drop-in centre has been cleared after more than a year of hard work.A lease to rent the old surgery in St Giles Road has now been signed by the team behind Project Rainbow.

The final hurdle in a bid to give Watton youngsters a new drop-in centre has been cleared after more than a year of hard work.

A lease to rent the old surgery in St Giles Road has now been signed by the team behind Project Rainbow.

In the same week the project has also been awarded charitable status after initially being established as a limited company earlier this year.

The two pieces of good news mean final preparations can be made to the surgery venue and it should be open within weeks.


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Project Rainbow is also gearing up to hold its first ever event - a free Halloween screening of the film Ghostbusters.

Organisers say they hope to be able to announce a firm date for the opening of the drop in centre on the night of the film.

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Project Rainbow secretary, Julian Horn, said: “We have signed the lease and we have now got charitable status.

“We have now just got to do the last bits of maintenance and a health and safety audit.

“The lease is nine months which should be long enough for us to raise the money to buy the surgery.”

Project Rainbow has already applied for a grant of £4.8m from the My Place Fund, a government run source of money which is administered by The Big Lottery Fund, though not part of it.

The team hope to hear by February whether they have been successful in their application for a large chunk of the £13.8m allocated for projects across the East of England.

Mr Horn said that the project was also investigating other ways of raising money.

Watton Mayor Paul McCarthy welcomed the news of the opening and said the town council would be presenting a £10,000 cheque, the first tranche of £20,000 promised to the project, at its monthly meeting next week.

The money will help pay for the rental of the building and will also go towards giving it the “wow factor” which the project hopes will have youngsters clamouring to get in.

Mr McCarthy said: “In the last 40 to 50 years we have gone backwards with providing young people with amenities and the only thing being provided at the moment is the sports centre.

“It is a first class place but there are groups of youths who are not provided for.”

“The Rainbow Project can only do good and I cannot say enough for Julian Horn and Paul Adcock. They are the type of citizens we want, people who will not be deterred and will get something in motion.”

Youngsters will be able to get a feel for what will be on offer when the surgery opens at a special free Halloween screening of Ghostbusters next Friday at Wayland Hall.

Not only will those attending be the first to hear the opening date for the surgery but if they come in fancy dress they will also be in with a chance of winning at £20 voucher for town's The Italian Job restaurant.

Free tickets for the screening are available from Adcocks and PCSO's will also be handing some out to youths as they go around town.

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