voiced over YMCA's plans for Highbridge Hotel site
have been raised this week that a proposed new YMCA centre at
the site of the former Highbridge Hotel will "threaten"
the future of other community facilities in the town.
YMCA is seeking to build a new public access multi-use games area,
cafe and community facilities in place of the fire-hit Highbridge
Cllr Helen Groves told this week's Town Council meeting: "Concerns
have been raised by many existing groups in the town that the
YMCA is contacting them and asking whether they would consider
moving their activities into the new building."
is potentially threatening the existence of existing community
facilities, such as meeting halls in the town. It is very disappointing
and want a reassurance that the YMCA is not looking to centralise
activities into that building. I have had numerous groups contact
me about this with their concerns."
Farrell from the YMCA said that while he wants the proposed facilities
to be used by all in the community, he denied that the group is
looking to replicate existing community venues and meeting facilities
in Highbridge. "We have no plans to set-up in competition
with other facilities," he said.
Cllr Chris Williams added: "I am a trustee of a group in
Highbridge and have heard that groups have been approached and
that discussions have been held with the YMCA. While it provides
great opportunities for the town, there is certainly something
in what Cllr Groves says and some facilities will feel threatened.
We would welcome an open discussion."
Pat Burge, who is involved with several Highbridge groups and
helps to run meeting facilities in the town, said: "I have
not been approached by any groups with concerns - this is not
a widespread issue."
Cllr Ken Smout added: "I am slightly frustrated by this.
We as a council have wanted modern new community facilities in
Highbridge for some time to deliver benefits for the town. We
have asked for a MUGA (multi-use games area) and other facilities
and those are now on their way. I think we should congratulate
the YMCA for coming here."