More youth and play centres in Liverpool are to remain open after the city council reached agreement with organisations willing to take them over.
The city council needs to save £156 million over the next three years due to cuts in Central Government funding, and the youth and play service is facing a 50 percent reduction in its budget.
The following centres have already been transferred:
• Knotty Ash Youth and Community Centre became the northern regional office for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and is an open centre for young people who want to complete the award
• ZAP Play Centre has transferred to Daisy Inclusive UK – who support young people and adults to participate in sport, arts, educational and community activities
• Epsom Street Play Centre is now operated by Nugent Care, retaining play and youth services as well as becoming a community volunteer centre to train local young people.
And the following centres are in the process of being transferred:
• Walton Adventure Playground and Centre– negotiations are taking place with Alt Valley Community Trust and the Big Lottery, who fund the play structure, with a view to the Trust acquiring the lease, It is anticipated these will be finalised to enable the centre to be used fully during the school summer holidays.
• Mab Lane Youth Centre –the Young Persons Advisory Centre (YPAS) have applied to use the centre as their North city hub to work with young people and their families. The transfer of the lease is currently being agreed.
• Childwall Youth and Community Centre –YPAS is proposing to use this centre as a South city hub to work with young people and their families The lease arrangements are being agreed.
As well as the centres , vehicles and other facilities and equipment which were underused has been transferred to community and voluntary organisations.
A mobile youth facility has been transferred to Merseyside Play Action Council for use in play schemes and activities; one vehicle has been transferred to Priority Youth who work in West Derby, Yew Tree, Old Swan and Knotty Ash and a second vehicle to the Voluntary Outreach Support Service, a consortium of youth organisations who work in the north of the city; a climbing wall has been transferred to Kirkdale Neighbourhood Council and a Youth bus has been transferred to the Croxteth ward,.
Councillor Steve Munby , cabinet member for neighborhoods ,said: “Given the scale of the cuts that have been imposed on us we have no choice other than to find different ways of providing services.
“We have succeeded in transferring assets to respected community and voluntary organisations meaning that youth work will continue to be delivered throughout the city.
“And by working in partnership with the voluntary sector it means that additional investment can be made into the centres.”