Published: October 6, 2011
Burnham residents see Duke of Kent open new £6.2m YMCA centre

Several Burnham-On-Sea residents were among 200 guests invited to watch the Duke of Kent formally open Bridgwater YMCA’s £6.2million new centre for homeless young people on Wednesday (October 5th).

The Duke was given a guided tour of Gerald Townsend House, where he met staff who support and motivate residents to fulfil their aspirations.

During the visit, he also met those involved in the building project, as well as local dignitaries, staff, volunteers and many community groups involved in the YMCA.

The Duke told the guests - who included Burnham's Cllr Neville Jones - that the buildings were "something to be proud of" and they would prove "valuable not only for young people but for the whole community."

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) invested £2.1 million in the project, alongside a Somerset County Council investment of £100,000, a further £100,000 from the legacy of a lifelong Bridgwater YMCA supporter and active member, Gerald Townsend, and £3.9million of funding from the Department for Education (DfE) and administered by the Big Fund (BIG), the non-Lottery funding operation of the Big Lottery Fund.

Cllr Jones told "The opening was a great occasion for such a fine building. The YMCA do a lot of very good work locally, including in Highbridge at Wade House."


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