SOMEBODY LIKES US! ALAN HALL SECURES DEAL WITH MILLWALL TO SAVE YOUTH CLUB
‘EVERYONE’S A WINNER BUT THE BIGGEST WINNERS ARE THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF DEPTFORD’
PLEA FOR HELP SCORES A RESULT
Councillor Alan Hall said he was ‘gobsmacked’ when Millwall FC Chief Executive Steve Kavanagh gave him the thumbs-up to a request for support for a new venture to save and transform the Riverside Youth Club in Deptford.
The Labour Mayoral candidate wrote to Mr Kavanagh to ask Millwall Community Trust to join a partnership between Youth First – Lewisham’s mutual youth service provision – and Lewisham Council.
The partnership bid would have the potential to lever in significant funding from the Football League and the Premier League’s Communities Strategy which would improve, invest and transform the Riverside into a thriving Community Club Hub.
Cllr Alan Hall said: “To be honest, Millwall and I have been a bit of a mutual fan club ever since I and other colleagues opposed the Council’s plans to compulsory purchase the land around the Millwall stadium for the development company Renewal. Chairman John Berylson said that if it went ahead, the club would have to consider moving to another borough where it had more control over its own land and destiny.
“So I was expecting a sympathetic ear and some vague promise for the future but I was gobsmacked when I got a firm yes! This isn’t just some extra money – this fantastic scheme would improve the quality, participation and diversity of the current youth provision.
“As I told Steve, It is no exaggeration to say that this bid could have a significant impact on the lives of young people in Deptford and change them for the better. For that reason, I am prepared to work tirelessly to support this scheme and work closely with MFC to bring it about. Everyone’s a winner in this scheme but the biggest winners are the young people of Deptford.”
Cllr Alan Hall went to the Pepys Estate in Deptford directly after hearing the news from Steve Kavanagh, Millwall FC Chief Executive.
Local residents were overjoyed to hear that real investment in their youth service would happen.
The letters from Councillor Alan Hall and Steve Kavanagh, Chief Executive Millwall FC can be read in full here
In the correspondence, Steve Kavanagh says that there is a threat to Millwall FC staying in Lewisham. The BBC have reported this here
Youth First is Lewisham’s mutual youth service. It is the lead organisation for youth work in Lewisham and provides services like adventure playgrounds and youth centres.
*Newsflash: Millwall FC have confirmed that their Board of Directors will support this project in The Mercury