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Page last updated at 14:45 GMT, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 15:45 UK
New building to help young people
Upton Lodge Farm House
The now Upton Lodge Farm House after the development

A Northamptonshire group hopes that the transformation of an old derelict building will help to secure its future.

Upton Lodge Farm House in Northampton has been renovated by young people from the charity YMCA.

Graham Gannaway Operations Director for the YMCA is pleased with the results.

"We completely gutted the whole building to turn it into something the community can be proud of," said Graham.

Recently the YMCA's future as an organisation has been in doubt because of funding problems.

Since 2003 the Northamptonshire branch of the Christian charity has been contracted by Supporting People and the county council, to provide support

Upton Lodge Farm House
Inside the Upton Lodge Farm House before the redevelopment

and housing solutions for thousands of people aged between 16 to 25.

However, Northamptonshire County Council withdrew funding from the YMCA as part of a cost-cutting move.

There are now fears that a lot of vulnerable young people could suffer because of the lack of funding.

"The YMCA is really important to helping young people from the county. On average we are helping 100 young people a day, so if we go, where do they go?" said Graham.

The newly renovated building will offer temporary accommodation, support and advice for up to 12 people at a time.

It will also train young people in construction skills and help them secure a better future for themselves.

"You'll be able to grow fruit and vegetables on site which we will sell to help raise more money for the organisation," said Graham.

The £432,000 scheme was part funded by West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC) and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

Kamljit Chana is the Project Manager from the WNDC: "We are really pleased to be a part of this project and develop something for the community in the county."

"The YMCA has been around for 160 years now, it would be a shame if it was lost because of funding issues. I just want us to be around for another 160 years," said Graham.




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