First Dig at ‘The Addy’

After six years of planning and fundraising work has finally started on building a new centre for children and young people on Woodhouse Lane, Benchill. On Monday afternoon (20 September – 4.15pm) a group of local young people joined councillors, funders and staff from Manchester Young Lives – the charity that has developed the project – in a ‘first dig’ event at the site.

The new centre will offer play, sport and youth work provision for children and young people from 0 to 19 years of age. Facilities will include a centre with play, youth club, IT and training provision, floodlit sports areas, a supervised adventure playground and a Sure Start playground for under 5s. It replaces the adventure playground on Brownley Road that has been used by thousands of local children since it opened in 1973. Children at the adventure playground worked with the architects in designing the facilities and came up with the new name, “The Addy Young Peoples Centre”. Although the new centre will have far more facilities than the old adventure playground, children have chosen ‘The Addy’ – their name for the adventure playground – as the official name for their new centre.

The cost of the £1.25M centre is being met by a partnership of funders including Manchester City Council, Sport England, Sure Start Benchill and the Willow Park Housing Trust and it is due to open in summer 2005.

Councillor Sue Cooley, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Health and Social Care, said:

“This new centre will provide a superb community facility. The expanded ‘Addy’ will enhance the range of fun and healthy activities for the area’s children and young people and I’m sure it will become a well-used and much-loved place.”

Tim Ferguson, Director of Manchester Young Lives, said:

“The Addy will play an important part in the continuing regeneration of what was one of the most deprived areas in the country. Meeting the needs of children and young people by developing centres like The Addy has benefits for the whole community. The old adventure playground did a great job with very limited facilities. We can now build on this and will be able to cater children and young people from 0 to 19 years of age.”