£8.55m set aside to develop new youth centre facilities

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Under Government Plan proposals a new north of St Helier youth centre will be developed backed by £4.25 million of taxpayers’ money, with the area due to see its population increase significantly due to the development of several housing schemes.

Meanwhile, £4.3 million has been allocated to revamp or replace the ‘no longer fit-for-purpose’ youth facilities at Le Squez in 2022 and 2023.

The report accompanying the proposals for the north of St Helier says that the area has an existing and growing need for a youth centre.

‘St Helier is the main centre of population within Jersey and has the highest number of young people resident in any parish (currently 2,850 children aged 9-18),’ it says.

‘It also attracts many of the young people from other parishes with part of St Saviour being within the north of town.

‘This area has seen an increase in the number of housing units with larger developments planned over the next two to eight years on Ann Court, Brewery Site, Gas Place, the former JCG site, Le Bas Centre, Summerland, Minden Place and other sites.

‘Currently the area has no community-based youth provision and with the population of children, young people and families increasing there is a need for a community-based youth work provision.

‘A purpose-built youth facility is required in the north of St Helier, in close proximity to new housing developments at Millennium Park and Ann Court.’

Funding of £2 million in 2021, £1.25 million in 2022 and £1 million in 2023 has been set aside for the project.

The report accompanying the Le Squez plans says that the existing facilities may need to be replaced with a new building.

‘Le Squez Youth Club first opened in 1976 in Le Squez School (now known as Samarès School) and in the early 1980s moved into a new centre which it still occupies today,’ it says.

‘Over the intervening 35-year period the building has required an increase in maintenance. There has also been an increase in the local youth population, which has placed further demands on the facility.

‘The existing building is no longer fit for purpose and will either need to be extensively modernised or a new centre constructed that is able to deliver a youth work curriculum relevant to today’s needs of children and young people and of a growing community.’

Funding of £2 million in 2022 and £2.3 million in 2023 has been set aside for the project.

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