Children's groups plan to build £25m centre

Joe Gill

A partnership of children's charities partly backed by the Treasury is undertaking feasibility studies for a £25m children's centre in London that will house the charities and provide children's services.

Charities involved in the Children's Centre Project include the National Children's Bureau, I Can, Young Minds, The Who Cares? Trust and The Place to Be.

The building is expected to have space for meetings, conferences and training for all those working with children and young people, and the headquarters of a number of voluntary children's organisations.

The project has appointed fundraising agency Cascaid to look at ways to raise funding for the centre. Cascaid managing director David Coe said: "We are still at the early stages in terms of the feasibility study. Over the next few months we will firm up the plans for the centre and look to raise money over the next couple of years.

"We will be looking at what the project partners can borrow, raise and fund from their existing assets. We hope some institutional money will be available, but it is too early to say.

"We are thrilled to be working with the Children's Centre Project. It's not just a building project; it's more of a paradigm for co-operation among charities."

The CCP hopes to get funding from government, trusts and foundations, and hopes to gain support from business and private individuals.

"Our aim is to establish a centre of excellence, a national centre for all those with an interest in improving the lives of children and young people," said Dominic Fox, director of the centre project. "Our aspiration is for a well-designed building that is completely accessible to disabled people, children and young people, suited to the needs of partner agencies and the sector."

The hope is that by sharing managerial, financial and administrative resources, the organisations involved will reap financial savings and benefit more from joint working.

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