Teenage cafe Hyper moves to new home

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A CAFE for teenagers in Harrogate has moved home - but is staying in the town centre.

And though the new venue will not be able to host Hyper Cafe’s popular live music nights, the manager of the charity says the move is a positive step, and there will be a chance to hold gigs elsewhere.

Colleen Scruton told the Advertiser that the new premises at 32 Cheltenham Parade, next to Jinnah, were more welcoming for youngsters than the former Salvation Army Citadel on East Parade, which was previously the cafe’s base.

“This is actually quite a positive,” she said.

“Young people find this building less intimidating, if they are new and coming to it. It was a big barn of a place.

“We are still settling into our skin here, but numbers are gradually climbing back up and the premises are great in a lot of respects.”

Hyper provides after-school sessions and club nights for 13 to 17-year-olds.

Mrs Scruton said it still had a comfy area - the most well-used part of the cafe - along with a pool table, Xbox and large-screen TV.

Hyper also has an acoustic guitar, and has held onto its amplifiers and speakers, but says the premises are unsuitable for live music nights, which have attracted audiences of up to 70 in the past.

“We can’t do live music, because we’ve got two front-room sized areas, so we just couldn’t hold it here,” Mrs Scruton said.

“But we have had an offer from one charity that they would find a venue for us a couple of times a year.

“Live music used to be the most important part of what we did a few years ago, but a lot of the pubs are paying the young people to play now, and it’s probably quite a good number for them, so it’s not as big a part as it was.”

The Cheltenham Parade premises can accommodate around 25 people, ideal for the Friday club nights. Mrs Scruton said the cafe was not having to turn anyone away.

Hyper, which is reliant on help from churches and individuals, was based at the Citadel on a lease from 2001 to 2011, but that building has now been put on the market.

It holds after-school sessions from Tuesday to Thursday, 3.30-5.30pm, and a club night on Fridays from 7-9.30pm.