BRIDGWATER will soon boast an exciting new youth centre after multi-million pound plans were approved yesterday.

Sedgemoor District Council has given the Bridgwater YMCA permission to knock down George Williams House in Friarn Avenue and replace it with a multi-use centre, boasting sports and fitness facilities, accommodation, a radio station, a café and conference suites.

The backing is a vital boost for the YMCA as £4million of Government funding was resting on the scheme winning approval and work beginning by March.

The Bridgwater YMCA's chief executive Martin Hodgson said: “Everyone is incredibly excited and relieved at the news. It's excellent for the town and will offer some great opportunities for young people in Bridgwater - now we have a lot of work ahead of us.”

During March, developers will look at the site and start the 52-week build.

Mr Hodgson said: “We are looking to see what menu of opportunity contractors can offer us and children will be involved along the way.

“We should be able to organise site visits for schools, places for young adults looking for work experiences or on apprenticeships.

“Real magical things should come out of it. It's not just bricks and mortar, it's for the long-term benefits of children.”

Once the new youth centre is completed, its grounds will be home to more than 40 parking spaces, a drop off zone and a secure and covered cycle store.

The scheme is also designed to be eco-friendly, and includes plans for a wind turbine.

Sedgemoor District Council has asked if the new building can also be named after George Williams, the founder of the YMCA.

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