Council to consider transfer of South Leeds Youth Hub to the community

Leeds’ flagship youth hub could soon be run by a community organisation after senior councillors gave the go ahead to start looking for potential providers.

At yesterday’s meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board, members agreed that officers could start the Community Asset Transfer process for the South Leeds Youth Hub to a ‘not for private profit’ organisation.

The South Leeds Youth Hub (SLYH) in Middleton, is run by Leeds City Council as a high quality venue with a range of activities for young people including both educational provision during the school day and out of school activities. It was built in 2008 with funding from the Big Lottery’s ‘MyPlace’ initiative. As part of the original application it was proposed to move the building to a ‘community ownership model’ as part of the future plans for the centre.

Earlier this year the SLYH board agreed for an investigation to begin into alternative models of management and governance for the building, as per the original Myplace application. Consultation with key stakeholders, including children and young people, indicated a high level of support for a community ownership model as a way to increase positive outcomes for young people through more flexible use of the Hub.

The council is bound by the terms and conditions of the original MyPlace agreement for 20 years, which includes a stipulation that the building must continue to be used for the purposes for which the grant was awarded. Therefore the council’s aim is to create a new civic enterprise which will enable the building to be used to its full potential providing top class facilities for young people whilst increasing user numbers.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said: “This presents a unique opportunity for the right organisation to take on a fantastic building with state of the art facilities. We would be looking for an organisation that has the needs of children and young people at its heart, is keen to help up achieve our aim to be a Child Friendly City, and is able to offer a proposal which would see the Hub become fully self-sufficient and sustainable.

“Transferring the Hub to a community organisation would help maximise the existing excellent facilities and help even more children and young people from across the city benefit from what the Hub has to offer.”

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk