An update on the Jetty Lane project, Woodbridge's proposed new community centre for youth and arts.
We presented our Business Plan and the architects' preliminary drawings to Suffolk County Council last month and are delighted to be able to report back that Jetty Lane CIC has been offered a 125 year lease on the land at The Avenue (where the portacabins used by Just42 now sit) at a peppercorn rent. We are most grateful to SCC for their foresight in allowing us to use the land to build our new centre and in giving us the security of long-term stability in an area which has long been associated with youth and community services. We will be creating a landmark and a legacy for future generations!
Now that we have secured the land we are in a position to start fundraising in earnest and we are looking for volunteers to increase our team. The CIC has vacancies for confident bid writers who will be able to work alongside the directors to raise the funds required. We are also looking for fundraisers to organise events and raise the profile of this project. Whilst we are immensely grateful to have been offered the financial services of the Seckford Foundation to help with issues such as payroll, we are also looking for someone with significant financial expertise to join us - either pro bono or at a significantly reduced rate - to help steer us through the financial complexities that will lie ahead.
What is Jetty Lane? Jetty Lane CIC exists to build and run a bold, innovative and sustainable community building to support the young people and arts in Woodbridge which will be called Jetty Lane. This centre is much-needed in that it replaces the demolished Woodbridge Youth Club which left many youth, arts and community initiatives homeless. Subsequent development and gentrification in Woodbridge has exacerbated the problem. The CIC’s Business Plan demonstrates that such a building will be feasible, affordable, financially sustainable and well-used. It will be a legacy for future generations in Woodbridge. Jetty Lane intends to provide a centre for young people and creative practitioners to flourish in Woodbridge. The centre will be modern, vibrant, inclusive and welcoming to all those in our community.
4 vital keys to success:
1) Location - The site is fit for purpose in a way that no other site could be because it provides direct access to Kingston Fields which can be used by young people needing outside space. It fits in with other local provision for young people as the extremely popular skate-park is nearby, as is the tennis club, Kingston Field playground and football pitches, while Deben Watersports is very close. The youth centre historically maintained good relations with its closest neighbour, Deben View, and Jetty Lane has consulted with them and continues to take their needs into consideration while drawing up plans. The site is within easy walking distance of buses, trains and central Woodbridge. It has parking nearby and disabled access to the riverside.
2) Local Support - The building previously on the Jetty Lane site was used by 11 different community groups and bookings were made up to six months in advance. Most of these organisations have been unable to find permanent homes elsewhere, and have expressed interest to support the Jetty Lane build with a view to bringing their clubs/groups back as soon as possible. This is on top of the interest of 1st Woodbridge Scouts, New Horizons, Just42 and the entire creative practitioner section. Whilst talking with the local community we created a petition for keeping these organisations, specifically “Jetty Lane: Build a new Arts & Youth Centre in Woodbridge” and have over 450 signatures.
3) Community Needs - Suffolk County Council predicts hundreds of housing units will be built over the next 5 years within Woodbridge and district. As a result of this there is pressure on available space and services. Jetty Lane will provide much needed facilities for a range of needs in our community. The building has been designed with these needs in mind.
4) Funding - The scope and aims of this building will attract funding from a number of different and disparate bodies and sources.
Provision and services
The architects’ report provides outline plans for the building along with an access statement, environmental impact report and an idea of costs. As plans currently stand, the building is expected to cost in the region of £2million to build, with some further furnishing costs. Once up and running we anticipate that the centre will be self-sustaining by means of the rental income. In our current plans it will provide:
• Exhibition Hall (for hire) • Scout Hall Rented • Just42 office Rented • 10 x artists’ studios; 2 with full disabled access (to rent at rates suitable for young artists) • Flexible commercial office space (to rent – 3 x 30m2, 3 x 15m2 offices, 40m2 hot desk area • 40m2 meeting/board room (for rent/hire).
Can you help Jetty Lane? We’d love to hear from you!