NEW IMAGES youth centre looks set to be demolished as part of new plans for the Winsford E-Act Academy.

Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) say the building is no longer fit for purpose and has estimated costs of more than £115,000 to carry much-needed repairs, something which they are not prepared pay for.

The centre, in Nixon Drive, will remain open for the time being and will be the responsibility of the Academy until September 2013, when it is transferred to CWAC.

Ian Callister, a spokesperson for CWAC, could not guarantee a new home for the youth centre but said the council is now consulting with users over the possibility of relocating to a more central premises.

He added: “Due to the poor condition of the New Images building, which will require significant investment to enable us to provide the standards that we want, we are now looking at the possibility of relocating New Images to a more central location.

“If the building is demolished the site can be included in the new Academy scheme.

“We are looking for somewhere which will better house youth facilities but in the meantime New Images will continue in its current location.”

However Clr Mike Kennedy, chairman of the New Images Supporters Group, blamed CWAC for the current state of the building and said users were not being consulted.

He added: “New Images is indeed in need of some renovation, but who is to blame for that?

“Eight years ago Cheshire County Council transferred the building to the Verdin school with virtually no money spent in that time.

“The original report on the Academy two years ago suggested the possible demolition of New Images with a new build as an option but no money was identified.

“We believe there has been no attempt to find that money, unlike the proposals for a new theatre in Chester where the money is being sought.

“I was also told our group would be involved in any options discussed but that is not happening.

“The only option being discussed at the moment is to demolish the youthy.

“Some people may say times are hard why find money to renovate or re-build a Youth centre?

“I would say the youth are our future and is it right we allow them to be forcibly relocated?”

The supporters group has pledged to carry on its fight to save the centre.