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At last, young villagers get place of own
11:00am Wednesday 14th August 2013 in News
A LONG-running dream of providing a new place where young people can meet and relax in two villages is finally set to become a reality.
Although there have been some changes made along the way, work is now getting under way to build somewhere for children and teenagers in Hanley Swan and Hanley Castle, near Malvern.
The project was first talked about back in 2009, when a group of youngsters under the leadership of adult volunteers were bidding to raise funds for a £160,000 development dubbed the “Hanley Hut”.
They had already come up with a design and secured planning permission for an eco-friendly straw-and-clay building to be built on land next to the parish hall in Hanley Swan.
But the arrival of the credit crunch meant the project could not secure the funding it needed and never went ahead.
Now four years later it has resurfaced in a revised form, with plans for a new basketball area and a youth shelter with solar powered lights and a docking station to plug in music players and electronic devices.
The scaled-down project is costing about £20,000 and is being funded by section 106 contributions from developers, grants from Worcestershire County Council and Malvern Hills Community Safety Partnership, funds raised by Hanley Youth Club and discretionary funding from county councillor Tom Wells.
It is hoped the new facility will be ready for use in the next few weeks and an official opening ceremony is being planned for September.
Sue Adeney is a Hanley Castle parish councillor who has helped lead the project.
She said: “It has taken longer than we had anticipated as once we had got the planning permission in place we were then hit with the recession.
“That made finding funding difficult so we decided to downscale and look at something we could achieve more immediately.”
She added: “We are thrilled that at last the young people are going to have a safe play to meet and play and listen to their music.
“Until now the only place they could go after dark was outside the village hall where there are security lights and obviously they were not always welcome there.
“We are grateful to the parish council too, who have supported this.”
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