Work to transform a run-down youth club in New Ferry into a state-of-the-art community clubhouse is underway after building contractors took over the site earlier this week (Monday 5 September).
The idea of redeveloping Bebington Youth Club into a modern clubhouse dates back to 2016 when elected representatives and members of the community met to discuss the future of the under-used centre and identify how it could be used to support the local residents.
At that time the youth club only opened for nine hours per week – three hours on three evenings each week – and only for young people aged 13-19.
When the building re-opens at the end of May 2023 it will operate until 9pm seven days a week and offer a much broader range of services.
As well as a modern youth club, it will bring new facilities for the local community, including all-weather 3G five-a-side pitches, a gym and a community café.
Wirral Council has provided around £750,000 towards the £1 million project, with Sport England contributing £250,000.
Wirral Council Leader and Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee, Cllr Janette Williamson, said, “Bebington youth club has been part of community life in New Ferry for 60 years. Generations of local people have used the building, and many have fond memories and a personal connection with the place. This work reflects those strong local links and brings new and much better facilities to what is one of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the whole country.
“The comprehensive improvement works and the new facilities are expected to make the centre much more financially and environmentally sustainable and will complement the wider regeneration of New Ferry. They are also a great example of the Council’s support for community wealth building.”
The site will remain closed to the public until next spring to allow construction work to be carried out safely. Residents who have used the area as a short-cut are advised to use an alternative route nearby.
The new clubhouse will be managed by New Ferry Rangers Football Club, which is a registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).
The Chair of New Ferry Rangers FC, Simon Crabtree, said, “This project has been around 5 years in the making and New Ferry Rangers would like to thank all involved especially Wirral Council and Sport England who have really pushed this through.
“The new club will be the jewel in the crown for New Ferry and will be accessible to the whole community not just the football clubs. The Youth Club is much loved but under used – this will change that and start a bright new future for the area.”
Construction work is being led by Merseyside-based Skyline Property Solutions. Chris Guy from Skyline, said, “Skyline are delighted to be appointed Main Contractor on this fantastic regeneration project, we can’t wait to put New Ferry back on the map and provide an excellent facility for everyone involved in the community. T
“his project very much aligns with our strong social involvement in grassroots football, and it is a pleasure to be providing young people and the community with a place to socialise and enjoy.”