Thursday, 3 December 2009
The journey here
This is the WEYES building where the project started 11 years ago. Young people who use the project have always said they like it because it is in an ideal spot, easy to get to by bus without drawing attention to itself; and is just a comfortable sort of building.
Two years ago the building came up for sale and Children North East bought it for £220,000 with a view to renovating it. We saw it as an investment in the young people of the west end of Newcastle. At the time of purchase there was a rough estimate that it would cost £100,000 to renovate the building.
However that estimate did not include meeting accessibility requirements to the first floor. So our good friends at _space architecture and management produced plans including a lift to make the first floor accessible, but these were rejected by Newcastle City Council Planning Department.
Next, in consultation with young people and the WEYES staff _space redesigned the plans with a large ground floor rear extension to provide a similar amount of accessible ground floor accommodation as would have been available over two floors. This plan was eventually approved by the Planning Department in August this year.
Since then _space have costed the approved plans conservatively at £330,150. Add to that VAT, site insurance; Contract Design Manager (on site Health & Safety) and indemnity etc. adds up to the total of approximately £400,000.
Children North East still has the £100,000 set aside for renovation. We think we can raise another £100,000 from business sponsorship, gifts of goods and services and community fundraising. That leaves £200,000 which we hope to be able to raise from Charitable Trusts. Just now we are looking for someone to help us to do that.