Wirral Youth Zone
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
A report by the Acting Director of Children’s Services provided an update on the exploratory work that had been carried out in respect of the development of the Wirral Youth Zone since the last report was presented to Cabinet on 2 February 2012 (Minute No. 300 refers).
The previous Cabinet report had detailed two land options (A and B) for consideration in order to progress the development of Wirral Youth Zone. The report had provided the recommendation to progress with Option B and the justification for this recommendation. The report had also recommended the allocation of £1 million capital funding during 2013/14 and that the Council should continue to work with partner agencies, in both the public and private sectors to develop the scheme and secure the funding required to finance the building of the new Wirral Youth Zone.
The previous report had detailed the benefits for young people in Wirral this facility would provide and Appendix 1 to the report summarised how the Council’s priorities would be achieved.
The Cabinet was informed that capital expenditure to build Wirral Youth Zone had been estimated to be up to £6 million. In the first three Youth Zones developed by the Council’s proposed partner “Onside”, the Council’s contribution had been funded entirely by the Government’s My Place Programme (which had now ended). Currently, Preston, Wolverhampton and Chester were in development and each Council had contributed £3 million in Capital funding. The remaining capital costs in each case had been funded from public, private and voluntary sector contributions. The initial investment from Wirral Council, which this report sought, was intended to be the catalyst to attract further investment.
It was reported that Merseyside Fire Authority had confirmed that it would not be charging for the use of the land and it would present the project as a proposal for capital investment.
The original aim had been for the facility to be opened by the end of 2013. However, Members were informed that this would not now be achievable. This meant the project had fallen behind the timescales of the developments of the new Fire Station, but if the Council committed to a capital allocation, the land would still be available for this purpose. The Cabinet noted that if a commitment was not made the Fire and Rescue Service may need to find an alternative use for the land.
(1) agreement be sought from the Fire Authority regarding the proposed transfer of land to the project;
(2) £1 million Capital funding be allocated during 2013/14 and the Council will continue to work with partner agencies, in both the private and public sector to develop the scheme and secure the additional funding required to finance the building of the new Wirral Youth Zone;
(3) legal structures be explored for developing and operating the Youth Zone and such agreements be entered into as necessary in respect of match funding.
Report author: Director of Children's Services
Publication date: 05/12/2012
Date of decision: 29/11/2012
Decided at meeting: 29/11/2012 - Cabinet
Effective from: 13/12/2012