Southampton's Eastpoint Centre set to re-open

The Eastpoint Centre in Thornhill is set to re-open after spending months in administration

The Eastpoint Centre in Thornhill is set to re-open after spending months in administration

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , Political reporter

IT was an ambitious bid to give a neighbourhood a top class community centre.

But when Southampton's Eastpoint Centre closed earlier this year amid spiralling debts, it looked as though it would be sold off and lost to residents forever.

But today the Daily Echo can exclusively reveal the £10.5million community hub in Thornhill is to re-open after a deal was done to save the facility for the community.

Plus You Limited (PYL), the local charity which took on management of the Bursledon Road site, has announced a deal which will see it remain as a community asset.

It will now re-open in September when Itchen College will move into some of its rooms.

The college is renting nine rooms on the ground and first floors as temporary classrooms while building work goes on at the site in Middle Road, Sholing.

The college had previously bought the centre's contents - including plasma televisions and laptops - for £200,000.

Negotiations are ongoing about bringing in partners to use other parts of the building.

The rest of the centre will once again be available for hire for events such as weddings, parties, conferences, training sessions or community activities.

The centre is being rebranded, with discussions ongoing about a new name to mark a fresh start.

PYL's chief executive Debbie King said: “This is a huge challenge for PYL and at the forefront of our minds is how to sustain this fabulous building so that it can remain in community ownership. However our primary focus has to be how to get it operational again.

“As the new landlord of the building, we have decided to trade from autumn 2014, aiming to hire parts of the building out on fixed, medium, or long term basis.

Daily Echo:

PYL chief executive Debbie King

“This will enable PYL to generate a stable income to cover the building's running costs.

“We want to maintain the centre as an asset for Thornhill and we hope that by doing so, in future years, we'll be able to benefit Thornhill residents by generating a surplus income that we can allocate to further local improvements and community projects."

Mrs King said a number of part-time posts will be created at first after the reopening, which will then develop into full-time posts.

The state-of-the-art building opened in 2011 and was the venue for a host of community activities, conferences and celebrations.

But it was revealed earlier this year that the centre had run into serious financial difficulties, with crippling debts of more than £150,000.

It closed in January after the Eastpoint Centre charity went into administration, with the loss of 23 jobs.

Negotiations had continued over the next few months about finding a new tenant, with speculation that it could become a hotel and leisure complex.

City councillor for the area and Plus You Ltd board member Matt Stevens said he was “very pleased” the centre was reopening, adding: “There's a desperate need for space for the community groups in Thornhill, so this is very important.

Daily Echo: Cllr Matt Stevens

Cllr Matt Stevens

But he added that the centre had an “open future” and could still be sold in the future if it proved financially unviable, saying: “There are no limited options here, and the charity needs to ensure it meets its costs.”

Itchen College principal Barry Hicks said, "Like PYL and Thornhill residents, we don't want to see the Eastpoint building sold off from community ownership.

“We are really looking forward to using the excellent facilities that this magnificent building has to offer. We are confident of its future success and prosperity.”

Daily Echo:

Itchen College principal Barry Hicks

  • Ring the PYL office on 023 8040 5728 for bookings.

Comments (14)

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10:13am Fri 1 Aug 14

steekeemcglue says...

That dress is by quicksilver..... classic cut and design.....
That dress is by quicksilver..... classic cut and design..... steekeemcglue
  • Score: -4

4:56pm Fri 1 Aug 14

debzy82 says...

There are so many things they could do with this building that are community friendly, giving Thornhill residents reason to use it. All it was before was a bar and a place to hire rooms for parties.
Courses etc...for local residents, youth club or similar for kids aged 5 and up, fitness classes and so on. Something that would bring in regular money for the building.
There are so many things they could do with this building that are community friendly, giving Thornhill residents reason to use it. All it was before was a bar and a place to hire rooms for parties. Courses etc...for local residents, youth club or similar for kids aged 5 and up, fitness classes and so on. Something that would bring in regular money for the building. debzy82
  • Score: 1

6:47pm Fri 1 Aug 14

mike coll says...

What we have here is a here today gone tomorrow company PYL, a smug Matt Stevens (can we check your expenses every day??? Go on be an honest council member)
And Itchen college barry hicks who doubtless thinks he was doing the right thing.
This plan will belly up within two years.
What we have here is a here today gone tomorrow company PYL, a smug Matt Stevens (can we check your expenses every day??? Go on be an honest council member) And Itchen college barry hicks who doubtless thinks he was doing the right thing. This plan will belly up within two years. mike coll
  • Score: -1

10:08pm Fri 1 Aug 14

thornhillproud says...

mike coll wrote:
What we have here is a here today gone tomorrow company PYL, a smug Matt Stevens (can we check your expenses every day??? Go on be an honest council member)
And Itchen college barry hicks who doubtless thinks he was doing the right thing.
This plan will belly up within two years.
Obviously the right thing to do was mothball it and leave it empty. ... oh wait if the rest of the UK took that approach since 2008 the UK high streets would look like down town Detroit.

Go check your crystal ball again its stuck on pessimist mode
[quote][p][bold]mike coll[/bold] wrote: What we have here is a here today gone tomorrow company PYL, a smug Matt Stevens (can we check your expenses every day??? Go on be an honest council member) And Itchen college barry hicks who doubtless thinks he was doing the right thing. This plan will belly up within two years.[/p][/quote]Obviously the right thing to do was mothball it and leave it empty. ... oh wait if the rest of the UK took that approach since 2008 the UK high streets would look like down town Detroit. Go check your crystal ball again its stuck on pessimist mode thornhillproud
  • Score: 1

10:50pm Fri 1 Aug 14

BrixtonSaint says...

First thing to do is stop saying it's for the use of Thornhill residents only. It's on the edge of the suburb. It's also on a main thoroughfare for plenty of other city residents to see and borders Sholing and Burseledon. Be a bit more inclusive. The name Eastpoint is fine. No need to spend on rebranding.
It's up to whomever is running the place to market it correctly to the community in order to encourage them that they can come use the facility, to come up with innovative ways to utilise the space.
People are somewhat reticent about stepping out of their comfort zones and asking to use such a space which would entail entering into negotiations with what would seem like authoritative figures.
Management needs to get out into the community to encourage its use more.
First thing to do is stop saying it's for the use of Thornhill residents only. It's on the edge of the suburb. It's also on a main thoroughfare for plenty of other city residents to see and borders Sholing and Burseledon. Be a bit more inclusive. The name Eastpoint is fine. No need to spend on rebranding. It's up to whomever is running the place to market it correctly to the community in order to encourage them that they can come use the facility, to come up with innovative ways to utilise the space. People are somewhat reticent about stepping out of their comfort zones and asking to use such a space which would entail entering into negotiations with what would seem like authoritative figures. Management needs to get out into the community to encourage its use more. BrixtonSaint
  • Score: 1

11:35pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Stubs says...

The old East point was a right dump. Even had drugs and yobs in the toilets. I can remember it smelling of can ibis.
The old East point was a right dump. Even had drugs and yobs in the toilets. I can remember it smelling of can ibis. Stubs
  • Score: -2

11:04am Mon 4 Aug 14

Outside of the Box says...

debzy82 wrote:
There are so many things they could do with this building that are community friendly, giving Thornhill residents reason to use it. All it was before was a bar and a place to hire rooms for parties.
Courses etc...for local residents, youth club or similar for kids aged 5 and up, fitness classes and so on. Something that would bring in regular money for the building.
Where do you resume the money comes from to pay for theesecourses?
[quote][p][bold]debzy82[/bold] wrote: There are so many things they could do with this building that are community friendly, giving Thornhill residents reason to use it. All it was before was a bar and a place to hire rooms for parties. Courses etc...for local residents, youth club or similar for kids aged 5 and up, fitness classes and so on. Something that would bring in regular money for the building.[/p][/quote]Where do you resume the money comes from to pay for theesecourses? Outside of the Box
  • Score: 0

11:06am Mon 4 Aug 14

Outside of the Box says...

mike coll wrote:
What we have here is a here today gone tomorrow company PYL, a smug Matt Stevens (can we check your expenses every day??? Go on be an honest council member)
And Itchen college barry hicks who doubtless thinks he was doing the right thing.
This plan will belly up within two years.
PYL here today gone tomorrow, not bad seeings the PYL CHARITY has been operating for 4 years now, fly by night? I think not
[quote][p][bold]mike coll[/bold] wrote: What we have here is a here today gone tomorrow company PYL, a smug Matt Stevens (can we check your expenses every day??? Go on be an honest council member) And Itchen college barry hicks who doubtless thinks he was doing the right thing. This plan will belly up within two years.[/p][/quote]PYL here today gone tomorrow, not bad seeings the PYL CHARITY has been operating for 4 years now, fly by night? I think not Outside of the Box
  • Score: 0

11:10am Mon 4 Aug 14

Outside of the Box says...

BrixtonSaint wrote:
First thing to do is stop saying it's for the use of Thornhill residents only. It's on the edge of the suburb. It's also on a main thoroughfare for plenty of other city residents to see and borders Sholing and Burseledon. Be a bit more inclusive. The name Eastpoint is fine. No need to spend on rebranding.
It's up to whomever is running the place to market it correctly to the community in order to encourage them that they can come use the facility, to come up with innovative ways to utilise the space.
People are somewhat reticent about stepping out of their comfort zones and asking to use such a space which would entail entering into negotiations with what would seem like authoritative figures.
Management needs to get out into the community to encourage its use more.
The building came into community ownership when the Eastpoint charity collapsed, of course it's not for Thornhill residents only, it now belongs to PYL which is a Charity to continue the regeneration of Thornhill, the Thornhill community own it, that doesn't give them exclusive rights to use it.
[quote][p][bold]BrixtonSaint[/bold] wrote: First thing to do is stop saying it's for the use of Thornhill residents only. It's on the edge of the suburb. It's also on a main thoroughfare for plenty of other city residents to see and borders Sholing and Burseledon. Be a bit more inclusive. The name Eastpoint is fine. No need to spend on rebranding. It's up to whomever is running the place to market it correctly to the community in order to encourage them that they can come use the facility, to come up with innovative ways to utilise the space. People are somewhat reticent about stepping out of their comfort zones and asking to use such a space which would entail entering into negotiations with what would seem like authoritative figures. Management needs to get out into the community to encourage its use more.[/p][/quote]The building came into community ownership when the Eastpoint charity collapsed, of course it's not for Thornhill residents only, it now belongs to PYL which is a Charity to continue the regeneration of Thornhill, the Thornhill community own it, that doesn't give them exclusive rights to use it. Outside of the Box
  • Score: 0

11:10am Mon 4 Aug 14

Outside of the Box says...

BrixtonSaint wrote:
First thing to do is stop saying it's for the use of Thornhill residents only. It's on the edge of the suburb. It's also on a main thoroughfare for plenty of other city residents to see and borders Sholing and Burseledon. Be a bit more inclusive. The name Eastpoint is fine. No need to spend on rebranding.
It's up to whomever is running the place to market it correctly to the community in order to encourage them that they can come use the facility, to come up with innovative ways to utilise the space.
People are somewhat reticent about stepping out of their comfort zones and asking to use such a space which would entail entering into negotiations with what would seem like authoritative figures.
Management needs to get out into the community to encourage its use more.
The building came into community ownership when the Eastpoint charity collapsed, of course it's not for Thornhill residents only, it now belongs to PYL which is a Charity to continue the regeneration of Thornhill, the Thornhill community own it, that doesn't give them exclusive rights to use it.
[quote][p][bold]BrixtonSaint[/bold] wrote: First thing to do is stop saying it's for the use of Thornhill residents only. It's on the edge of the suburb. It's also on a main thoroughfare for plenty of other city residents to see and borders Sholing and Burseledon. Be a bit more inclusive. The name Eastpoint is fine. No need to spend on rebranding. It's up to whomever is running the place to market it correctly to the community in order to encourage them that they can come use the facility, to come up with innovative ways to utilise the space. People are somewhat reticent about stepping out of their comfort zones and asking to use such a space which would entail entering into negotiations with what would seem like authoritative figures. Management needs to get out into the community to encourage its use more.[/p][/quote]The building came into community ownership when the Eastpoint charity collapsed, of course it's not for Thornhill residents only, it now belongs to PYL which is a Charity to continue the regeneration of Thornhill, the Thornhill community own it, that doesn't give them exclusive rights to use it. Outside of the Box
  • Score: 0

11:10am Mon 4 Aug 14

Outside of the Box says...

BrixtonSaint wrote:
First thing to do is stop saying it's for the use of Thornhill residents only. It's on the edge of the suburb. It's also on a main thoroughfare for plenty of other city residents to see and borders Sholing and Burseledon. Be a bit more inclusive. The name Eastpoint is fine. No need to spend on rebranding.
It's up to whomever is running the place to market it correctly to the community in order to encourage them that they can come use the facility, to come up with innovative ways to utilise the space.
People are somewhat reticent about stepping out of their comfort zones and asking to use such a space which would entail entering into negotiations with what would seem like authoritative figures.
Management needs to get out into the community to encourage its use more.
The building came into community ownership when the Eastpoint charity collapsed, of course it's not for Thornhill residents only, it now belongs to PYL which is a Charity to continue the regeneration of Thornhill, the Thornhill community own it, that doesn't give them exclusive rights to use it.
[quote][p][bold]BrixtonSaint[/bold] wrote: First thing to do is stop saying it's for the use of Thornhill residents only. It's on the edge of the suburb. It's also on a main thoroughfare for plenty of other city residents to see and borders Sholing and Burseledon. Be a bit more inclusive. The name Eastpoint is fine. No need to spend on rebranding. It's up to whomever is running the place to market it correctly to the community in order to encourage them that they can come use the facility, to come up with innovative ways to utilise the space. People are somewhat reticent about stepping out of their comfort zones and asking to use such a space which would entail entering into negotiations with what would seem like authoritative figures. Management needs to get out into the community to encourage its use more.[/p][/quote]The building came into community ownership when the Eastpoint charity collapsed, of course it's not for Thornhill residents only, it now belongs to PYL which is a Charity to continue the regeneration of Thornhill, the Thornhill community own it, that doesn't give them exclusive rights to use it. Outside of the Box
  • Score: 0

11:34am Mon 4 Aug 14

wise old bird says...

. I really do wish that PYL would stop calling themselves the new landlords of the building. They have been the landlords from the start. I understand that a hefty rent was being paid to PYL by Eastpoint and that PYL were told by Eastpoint that they would have trouble paying it until the business started to grow. Seems that PYL refused to give eastpoint a bit of time. As for here today, gone tomorrow....4 years is nothing. The eastpoint charity survived for 25 years before it's closing down was brought about.
. I really do wish that PYL would stop calling themselves the new landlords of the building. They have been the landlords from the start. I understand that a hefty rent was being paid to PYL by Eastpoint and that PYL were told by Eastpoint that they would have trouble paying it until the business started to grow. Seems that PYL refused to give eastpoint a bit of time. As for here today, gone tomorrow....4 years is nothing. The eastpoint charity survived for 25 years before it's closing down was brought about. wise old bird
  • Score: 4

7:53am Tue 5 Aug 14

watch this space says...

wise old bird wrote:
. I really do wish that PYL would stop calling themselves the new landlords of the building. They have been the landlords from the start. I understand that a hefty rent was being paid to PYL by Eastpoint and that PYL were told by Eastpoint that they would have trouble paying it until the business started to grow. Seems that PYL refused to give eastpoint a bit of time. As for here today, gone tomorrow....4 years is nothing. The eastpoint charity survived for 25 years before it's closing down was brought about.
Ply were asked many times to help Eastpoint. They wanted the building from the outset and their refusal to help ensured they got it ! I understand the rent paid to Ply was in excess of 30k per quarter. Wonder what that was spent on ................ Nice dress Ms King !!!!!
[quote][p][bold]wise old bird[/bold] wrote: . I really do wish that PYL would stop calling themselves the new landlords of the building. They have been the landlords from the start. I understand that a hefty rent was being paid to PYL by Eastpoint and that PYL were told by Eastpoint that they would have trouble paying it until the business started to grow. Seems that PYL refused to give eastpoint a bit of time. As for here today, gone tomorrow....4 years is nothing. The eastpoint charity survived for 25 years before it's closing down was brought about.[/p][/quote]Ply were asked many times to help Eastpoint. They wanted the building from the outset and their refusal to help ensured they got it ! I understand the rent paid to Ply was in excess of 30k per quarter. Wonder what that was spent on ................ Nice dress Ms King !!!!! watch this space
  • Score: 2

2:37pm Tue 5 Aug 14

wise old bird says...

watch this space wrote:
wise old bird wrote:
. I really do wish that PYL would stop calling themselves the new landlords of the building. They have been the landlords from the start. I understand that a hefty rent was being paid to PYL by Eastpoint and that PYL were told by Eastpoint that they would have trouble paying it until the business started to grow. Seems that PYL refused to give eastpoint a bit of time. As for here today, gone tomorrow....4 years is nothing. The eastpoint charity survived for 25 years before it's closing down was brought about.
Ply were asked many times to help Eastpoint. They wanted the building from the outset and their refusal to help ensured they got it ! I understand the rent paid to Ply was in excess of 30k per quarter. Wonder what that was spent on ................ Nice dress Ms King !!!!!
What has the money been spent on? Isn't that public money? I knew Eastpoint Centre quite well. I used to go there often and went to their AGMS for many years. I don't really understand what the difference is (was) between EAstpoint charity and PYL. Weren't they both doing the same thing? If they were, why was there rent being paid? And why didn't Debbie King 's charity help out Eastpoint? I suppose we will never get the answers. Yesterday's news.
[quote][p][bold]watch this space[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]wise old bird[/bold] wrote: . I really do wish that PYL would stop calling themselves the new landlords of the building. They have been the landlords from the start. I understand that a hefty rent was being paid to PYL by Eastpoint and that PYL were told by Eastpoint that they would have trouble paying it until the business started to grow. Seems that PYL refused to give eastpoint a bit of time. As for here today, gone tomorrow....4 years is nothing. The eastpoint charity survived for 25 years before it's closing down was brought about.[/p][/quote]Ply were asked many times to help Eastpoint. They wanted the building from the outset and their refusal to help ensured they got it ! I understand the rent paid to Ply was in excess of 30k per quarter. Wonder what that was spent on ................ Nice dress Ms King !!!!![/p][/quote]What has the money been spent on? Isn't that public money? I knew Eastpoint Centre quite well. I used to go there often and went to their AGMS for many years. I don't really understand what the difference is (was) between EAstpoint charity and PYL. Weren't they both doing the same thing? If they were, why was there rent being paid? And why didn't Debbie King 's charity help out Eastpoint? I suppose we will never get the answers. Yesterday's news. wise old bird
  • Score: 1

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