WALLINGFORD’S new youth centre is on schedule to open in the summer, ending a three-year wait for the new facility.

Building work started at the £300,000 centre in Wigod Way at the end of last year, on the site of a former evangelical church.

This is now almost complete and fixtures and fittings inside are being installed.

Wallingford Town Council moved to set up a new centre after Oxfordshire County Council cuts led to the closure of a centre in Clapcot Way.

It worked with South Oxfordshire District Council to acquire the site and with the county council to fund it.

It will be home to the town’s youth worker Martin Thompson and the Action for Children charity, to run a children’s centre from the building.

The town council put in about £140,000 and the county council about £160,000.

Town councillor Lynda Atkins, also independent county councillor for Wallingford, said: “The roof is now on and the structure is pretty much complete.

“It’s great that we have finally got to this stage and work is now being done to sort out the electrics and plumbing and anything else that needs doing inside.

“The town council will take over the building from the builders in July and Action for Children will move in the following month to run the children’s centre.

“Inside there will be a large room that can be used for lots of different activities and two smaller rooms, which can be used by the children’s centre to work with parents and children.”

Ms Atkins said the centre would not be large enough to host youth club activities.

“Neighbours have been worried about youth club sessions all along, so that won’t be happening.

“But Mr Thompson will be able to organise activities and youth club sessions at different venues in the town, including at the day centre next to the library.”

Fellow town councillor and former town mayor Ros Lester said: “I went down to have a look at the building the other day and it has sprung up out of nowhere.

“It’s brilliant news for Wallingford because it is going to be used for young people and families in the area who need helping.

“It was never going to be enough to say that the youth hub in Didcot would be enough for young people — Wallingford does need its own centre.”