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Week of activities at Downham’s New Youth Centre

A £20,000 refurbishment has transformed a dis-used former school into a much-needed space for Downham Market youngsters.

The new youth centre, on Paradise Road Downham Market, will open on Monday 18 February in time for half-term and will be offering a fun-packed week of free activities (Monday 18 – Friday 22 February).

There will be plenty to choose from with sports such as football, table tennis, skateboarding, boxing and street dance on the menu. And there will be a whole host of games and workshops to try too, including nail art and DJ skills.

See the downhamweb events diary for details of each day’s timetable.

The creative skills of attendees will also be put to good use as they will be asked to help come up with a name for the new venue. A competition will run throughout the week. The winning name will be designed into a sign that will appear above the front door.

The centre will be open from 10 am to 4 pm. It is free to attend and no booking is required. Activities are designed to cater for young people aged 11 – 19.

The building, which comprises three large rooms and an outdoor area, has been leased from Norfolk County Council by the South West Norfolk Youth Opportunies Project (Swan Project), with support from the West Norfolk Partnership, which has funded the refurbishment. Works included a complete redecoration, restoring the 19th-century building to its former condition. Working with the King’s Lynn Discovery Centre, the Swan Project hopes to develop a weekly youth club at the site.

Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Having a safe place to meet and socialise is really important for local young people. It supports their development, enabling them to gain new skills and confidence, as well as have fun. The former school was a wasted space, so it is great to see new life breathed into it. I hope lots of young people will come along next week and help us to shape this into a place that they really feel belongs to them.”

Jimmy Yallop, King’s Lynn Discovery Centre, which is helping to deliver the initial programme of activities and will work with the Swan Project to develop the future of the centre, said: “We think next week’s programme has something to appeal to just about everybody, and that’s just the start. We’re hoping, with young people’s input, we can develop a regular programme of events here.”

The full timetable of activities on offer during the week (Monday 18 February – Friday 22 February) has been distributed to local schools and will be available on the borough council’s website: and on



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