The final phase of refurbishment on the St James Centre in St Helier has now started.
This second phase of work focuses on the church and vicarage and will deliver a new performance space for Youth Arts Jersey (formerly based at La Motte St Centre) in the Church and an administrative hub for the Youth Service, as well as the Youth Enquiry Service (YES) in the Vicarage.
The school building on the St James site underwent a successful refurbishment contract which was completed in May 2013. It is now fully occupied by the Youth Service who are delivering the Prince’s Trust and Duke of Edinburgh Award schemes from the building.
The completed project will provide greater opportunities for young people and a more efficient and effective base for the Youth Service operations.
Assistant Treasury and Resources Minister Deputy Eddie Noel said: “This project makes a necessary investment in the fabric of an historic building and provides a much-improved and consolidated space for the Youth Services team and the facilities they provide for young people.”
The work to the buildings combined a programme of maintenance, refurbishment and alterations. The improvements were carried out after full consultation with the Principal Historic Environment Officer, Tracey Ingle, to ensure full compliance with the Department of the Environment’s requirements to maintain the buildings historical elements.
Extension work on the ground floor and balcony of the Church will provide an entrance foyer and exhibition area. The work will also provide an auditorium and sound-proofed rehearsal rooms, a recording studio and radio station.
In the vicarage, the refurbishment will result in a main administrative area for the Youth Service and Youth Enquiry Service together with counselling rooms.
New kitchens and storage will be provided in both the Church and Vicarage and the infrastructure of both areas modernised to support IT and data and – in the church – the installation of audio, lighting and performance equipment.
A new two-storey glazed link between the main reception will give access to the Vicarage and lift and access to the ground floor and upper floor balcony area in the Church.
This final phase is partly funded through a capital allocation of £2.5 million that was approved in Medium Term Financial Plan for 2013 – 2015 and other funds were identified for Youth Service investment in facilities.
Once the refurbishment and relocation are completed, the current La Motte Street site will be available for residential development.
Education Sport and Culture Minister Deputy Patrick Ryan said: “This is an important project for the Youth Service and will play a major part in ensuring it can meet the needs of Jersey’s young people in future. It is an exciting and much-needed development and I look forward to seeing it come to fruition.”