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New centre as leaders bid to beat the arsonist.

YOUTH leaders determined arsonists would not put them out of business for the second time in their club's 48 year history now have a brand new building - two years after their last one was razed to the ground.

On December 7, 2007 members and leaders of Oxhill Youth Club on Kyo Lane, Stanley, County Durham, could have been forgiven for throwing in the towel.

Their building was one of 14 properties targeted by a fire raiser who has never been found.

For the second time in the history of the club, an arsonist had struck.

In 1999 the club's former headquarters, a wooden hut, was destroyed.

But after raising pounds 75,000 - a lot of it through youth club members staging their own pantomimes - the new building has officially opened.

Club chairman Alan Westwater said: "We were determined not to let the arsonist win. There are 120 members who are lovely kids. Young people are much maligned but our members are great.

"We wanted to reopen for their benefits.

We have indoor football in the sports hall, table tennis, basketball, badminton, arts and crafts on offer, and the members put on their own pantomime.

"We are absolutely delighted to be open again in time for Christmas."

President Ivan Garnham said: "It has taken us two years to get the youth centre rebuilt following a terrible fire in December 2007. I know this will be a great asset to young people in the local community for many years to come. We would also like to thank South Moor Methodist Chapel who loaned us their premises when ours was being rebuilt."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 18, 2009
Words:269
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