Kenilworth Centre’s manager made redundant after ‘inevitable’ cuts

The Kenilworth Centre
The Kenilworth Centre
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Trustees at the Kenilworth Centre have made the centre manager Andy Norman redundant as they make cuts to stay afloat following recent financial troubles.

Mr Norman, who has been centre manager for the last 10 years, found out he was being made redundant on Friday March 11 and will leave the centre on Friday April 15.

I think the centre will survive as a venue, that I can be sure of, but in the long term I don’t know what the future of the youth and community work is going to be like.

Andy Norman

He said: “Obviously I knew with the funding going from the town council that it was inevitable, but I wasn’t expecting the news to come so quick.

“I think the centre will survive as a venue, that I can be sure of, but in the long term I don’t know what the future of the youth and community work is going to be like.”

Mr Norman started youth work on a part-time basis in 1997, and project managed the transfer of youth services from the old site in Bertie Road to the current site in Abbey End from 2005 to 2007.

The cuts have been made following Kenilworth Town Council’s decision to withdraw its £30,000 a year funding to the centre, which it had granted the centre over the last four years.

Following Mr Norman’s departure, the charity will be managed by the centre’s chair of trustees, John Whitehouse, without remuneration, for an interim period of up to six months.

In a statement, he said: “The trustees are desperately sorry to be taking this step, but we had no choice. Losing over 30 per cent of our income at a stroke meant we had to take drastic action to ensure that the charity can survive and prosper in the longer term.

“We’ve had tremendous support from the people of Kenilworth over this difficult time, and we owe it to them to ensure that a full range of youth and community activities can be maintained in line with our charitable objectives.

“Any further offers of help or ideas towards achieving this goal would be greatly welcomed. The trustees are confident that a sustainable future is achievable for the Kenilworth Centre, but cutting our costs is an essential first step.

“I’d like to pay tribute to the tremendous work that Andy Norman has done for the town and particularly its young people over the years, originally at the old youth centre in Bertie Road and more recently at the Kenilworth Centre. We shall all miss him.”

When asked what the future might hold for him, Mr Norman said: “I’m looking into all sorts of options really. Youth work is what I like but the skills I’ve picked up in this role go along with all sorts of other things.”

The centre has already started advertising for a short-term change manager to help the centre downsize over the course of the six-month interim period.

The advertisement states the role will ‘play a key role in moving the organisation rapidly to a lower-cost operating model.’

No other staff at the centre have been affected by the cuts.