The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Landmark Open youth venue in Norwich closes 

The landmark Open Youth Venue in Norwich has closed its doors for the final time after the Trust behind it was placed into voluntary liquidation earlier this week.

The pioneering, state-of-the-art £12m Open Youth Venue in Norwich city centre, open its doors to young people in August 2009, the result of six years of planning, dreaming and building by Christian entrepreneur Graham Dacre, his son Russell and the Open Youth Trust team. 
This week, severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and an unsuccessful bid to renew grant funding necessary to secure the future of its charitable youth provision, the Open Youth Trust and its trading subsidiary Closed Limited have appointed Price Bailey to assist with placing both organisations into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation.
The commercial activities, which generate revenue for the charity through live music, events, conferences and storage, have been severely impacted by the forced closure of its venue at Bank Plain due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Unfortunately, as a result both companies are insolvent, and the liquidation processes are unavoidable said a statement. 
Laura Rycroft, Chief Executive of Open said: ”This news comes as a devastating blow not only to the team at Open Youth Trust whose hard work, loyalty and passion for the Trust and the young people it has provided for has been amazing, but also to all of the young people that benefit from our programmes and activities and the local businesses and individuals within the community that visit our venue and have supported our cause over the years.  On behalf of myself, the trustees and our colleagues we would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our suppliers, supporters, patrons and ambassadors, and to anyone that has visited our venue and donated to our charity." 
Russell Dacre, MBE Chair of Trustees said: “Like many other charities, OPEN has fought year on year, month on month to make ends meet in order to deliver valuable outcomes to our young beneficiaries. Unfortunately for Open this drastic situation has become the finishing blow for us. 
“Whilst this is the end of a 15-year journey, I’m very proud of the wide-ranging benefit Open has delivered to many thousands of children, young people and families. I will remember the stories forever of the individual young people who expressed their gratitude for the sense of safety, family and support that they received from the team at Open when they needed it most. My grateful thanks go to our team and community partners for their personal dedication to the cause over so many years.  Their support has enriched so many lives in Norwich and across Norfolk."
Gavin Wilcock, Trustee of the Lind Trust, one of Open’s local supporting charities said: “The closure of Open is clearly disheartening for all who have been and are involved. It is a huge loss for young people who have looked and continue to look to the venue for support and encouragement.”

Pictured above is chair of trustees Russell Dacre at Open back in 2009.

Read our previous story on this topic

To submit a story or to publicise an event please email: