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Partnership grows with new lease and improvements to home of BackTrack

Council has been a long-term supporter of BackTrack Youth Works since the old Grafton Road council depot was leased to the organisation for a peppercorn lease in 2007. Council was approached by BackTrack in early 2021 to develop a revised lease term seeking longevity on the site or the option to purchase.

Since 2007 BackTrack have improved the site and maintained the facility to an extremely high standard and has recently received Council approval for an additional investment in infrastructure made possible through the support of government and philanthropic grants.

Founder Bernie Shakeshaft said BackTrack has supported more than 1000 young people to stay alive, out of jail and chase their hopes and dreams over the past 15 years.

“The infrastructure improvements will enable us to continue to grow our impact within the New England Region” Council’s current Community Leasing Policy ranked BackTrack highly and recommended a 75 percent discount on the commercial lease.

Armidale Regional Council Mayor Sam Coupland said the lease agreement was a win-win for the community and BackTrack.

“BackTrack has grown from strength to strength and is helping young people having a tough time build a positive life pathway,” Mayor Sam Coupland said “We can be proud of the role Council and the community have played and continue to play in supporting young people to achieve success through the BackTrack program. And in turn BackTrack is now returning the favour back to the community with a significant injection of capital improvements to the council owned site.”

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