Giving young people choice
Murrayside Community Centre, based in a deprived area of Ipswich, has an exciting future ahead. A grant of £1.6 million from the Youth Investment Fund will create a state-of-the-art space for all young people to enjoy. As well as transforming Murrayside Community Centre’s sporting facilities, the new building will give young people a real choice in how they use the space.
Young people love coming to Murrayside to enjoy sports, including boxing, football, and basketball, but some young people just want a safe space to hang out, meet friends, listen to music, and do their own thing. Right now, their building just doesn’t have enough space to give young people real choice.
Murrayside’s capital project, funded through the Youth Investment Fund, will transform their space. It means they can demolish the oldest and most dilapidated parts of their building and create a second floor in some parts of the plot. It will be accessible to all, and the build includes a disabled lift to access the second floor.
Bringing the community closer together
Once complete young people will be able to enjoy a new dance studio/gym, a climbing wall, and plenty of space for boxing, football, and other sports, as well as a dedicated space for young people to hang out and chill. As well as creating a fabulous new youth centre, the space will also enhance the whole local community, providing a modern hub that partners can use. The project includes a new Coffee Shop open to everyone, helping to bring the community closer together.
The new Murrayside building project is set to start in December 2023, and should be completed within a year. Building work and youth work will go hand in hand during construction. Martin Cherrington, the project lead, already has that covered. Parallel plans are in place, making use of a large outside shed that will double-up as a sports area, as well as existing areas in the current building that will not be disrupted.
Changing the dynamic of Ipswich
Martin says that the funding and new building will change the whole dynamic of Murrayside Community Centre, making it into an inclusive, accessible, and sustainable space that offers something to every young person. Martin says that Murrayside Community Centre and the new funding has reinvigorated his passion for youth work and sports.
It’s a realisation of our long-term goal for young people, but it’s happening now, we haven’t got to wait. It’s a bit like having a retirement fund that you get to spend and enjoy while you are young rather than waiting for old age to kick in. It’s filled all of us with joy and will be a lasting legacy for future generations of young people.
Treasurer of Murrayside Community Centre