Greens secure votes for funding for Brighton Youth Centre refurbishments, marking “a huge win that young people will reap the benefits of for decades”
In last week’s meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee, councillors voted in favour of the Greens’ proposal to provide a £2.3m grant to Brighton Youth Centre (BYC), to allow them to refurbish the long-neglected site.
Greens note that Brighton Youth Centre has been in a state of disrepair for too long, which follows a pattern of disregard for services provided for young people across the country. Discussions regarding the establishment of a Central Youth Hub on the site have been ongoing for over three years, and various options regarding funding this project have come and gone.
Greens are pleased to have secured a comprehensive financial plan that makes the necessary refurbishments possible. With this roadmap, Greens believe the BYC will become a focal-point for young people in Brighton & Hove, joining other schemes they have pushed for around the city and across the council.
The proposed grant comes with a provision that a chartered surveyor valuation conducted by Brighton & Hove City Council matches that of Brighton Youth Centre. This passed along with an amendment from Labour and Tories, which Greens described as anti-young people.
Chair of the Children, Young People and Skills Committee Cllr Hannah Allbrooke said:
“The focus of the debate should have been young people. And yet, all Labour focused on was the council. I am disappointed that Labour and Tories teamed up to amend the report, with veiled criticisms of the excellent youth work provided by Brighton Youth Centre. Young people and youth workers deserved better.
“I am really glad that we have been able to secure this win for Brighton & Hove’s young people, some of whom came to watch the debate. We have found a plan to finance this project and build a new central youth centre for the city; this is a huge breakthrough.
“Young people in this city will benefit hugely not only from this, but also from the Hangleton & Knoll development at Knoll Park, Moulsecoomb Hub project and future plans for works in Portslade. Greens are ensuring investment in youth services and that is something I am incredibly proud of.”
Cllr Sue Shanks said:
“I have been involved in supporting the youth centre with their plans to rebuild for many years. Drawing in teenagers from across the city, they get involved in the life of the centre which has a focus on arts and music, running the annual BFest, band nights and with a great skate park on its roof. These aspects will be preserved.
“Above all, the youth workers make the youth centre a safe and stimulating place and they are looking forward to an exciting new home. With the funding and subsequent refurbishment getting the green light, BYC will be able to go on and do bigger and better things for young people across the city.
“Brighton Youth Centre is one of few open-access youth centres left in the country This is a huge win that young people will reap the benefits of for decades.”