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Gravesham Borough Council and Ebbsfleet Development Corporation are working with Northfleet Central Charitable Incorporated Organisation to explore options for the re-use of the former Northfleet Coachworks building and adjacent land, next to Northfleet Station.
10th January 2024
Statement on joint ambition for Northfleet Pathway
The Northfleet Pathway project aims to break down barriers for Northfleet residents, providing space for a range of uses that support local, inclusive economic growth and opportunity. At the heart of the project will be a safe space where young people can come together and explore opportunities for their future, including through skills development, and providing space for start-up businesses to develop their ideas.
For the first phase of the project, the project partners have joined forces with Creative Estuary through their Place Partnership Fund, to identify potential for the co-location of creative workspaces and programmes as part of the site offer to the benefit of the Northfleet community.
Ebbsfleet Development Corporation bought the site to secure the potential for a proposed future extension to the Elizabeth Line to Northfleet. Whilst awaiting a decision on this extension, the partners are keen to use the site as a catalyst to support local need and ambition with an initial plan of use for up to 10 years.
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Steve Stamp, Chair of Northfleet Central CIO writes,
We are really excited to be able to share the above announcement issued jointly by Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC) and Gravesham Borough Council (GBC) confirming their ambition to work with us to develop a youth centre and other facilities on the land located next to Northfleet station.
Northfleet Central CIO which is a registered charity has been working for nearly eighteen months to devise a scheme which hopefully would provide the young people of Northfleet with a space for leisure activities and more importantly, opportunities to develop as individuals, learn new skills and generally improve their life chances.
Without exception everyone we had talked to welcomed the plan and recognised the need for our young people to have somewhere to meet. Having nothing to do leads to anti-social behaviour, increases vulnerability to drugs, reduces self esteem, lowers aspiration and above all removes hope that things can be better.
In September 2022 we applied for funding from a Department of Culture Media and Sport grant scheme to fit out the old coach house building as a youth centre and community facility. EDC and GBC jointly funded a feasibility study, and after consultation with many local organisations and young people, we submitted a detailed grant application. Despite a great deal of work we heard in June 2023 that our application was unsuccessful.
Later in the year, with encouragement from EDC we had another opportunity to bring the project to life. Over the last few months, again with the support of EDC and GBC, the plans have been refined and broadened to hopefully deliver even greater benefits to the community.
The ‘Statement of Ambition’ is the first step, a big step, on the journey. In the forthcoming months a key part of the project will be to share the plans with the community, seek views and to involve others in making the project successful. An immediate and exciting leap forward is the involvement of ‘Creative Estuary’ who can bring their experience and energy to the project.
The project is called ‘Northfleet Pathway’. We have a strong team of people who I’m sure I can speak for everyone involved when I say “We will do our best to turn our ambition into a ‘pathway’ to a brighter future for our young people and the community”.