Youth and play centre discussions underway

Up to six youth and play centres are set to remain open after Liverpool City Council received firm expressions of interest in running them from community and voluntary organisations.

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.

Under the proposals, the following buildings will be transferred:

• Mab Lane Youth and Play Centre
• Knotty Ash Youth and Community Centre
• Childwall Youth Centre
• ZAP Play Centre
• Walton Adventure Playground and Centre
• Epsom Street Play Centre

Expressions of interest have now been received in each of the buildings, and the city council is now examining proposals in detail before making a recommendation on the bidders to the Cabinet.

Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet member with responsibility for the youth service, said: “I am pleased that we have had such good interest from the voluntary and community sector in taking over these buildings.

“We know the facilities are appreciated and valued by the local community, and in an ideal world we would love to be able to continue funding them. However the scale of the cuts we face mean that we have to make some extremely difficult decisions.

“I am confident that we will be able to achieve our aim, which is for them to continue to operate similar types of services which benefit local people.

“We understand that this is a difficult and unsettling time for the staff affected, and are keeping them informed.”

Due to confidentiality reasons, the city council is unable to give any details of the interested parties at this stage.