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PLANS SUBMITTED FOR £5 MILLION LONGBRIDGE YOUTH CENTRE

Plans for a new £5 million youth centre, to be developed at the heart of the Longbridge regeneration project, are set to be considered by planners in Birmingham after being submitted by St. Modwen in partnership with Birmingham City Council.

If approved, the multi-million pound centre would provide a wide range of innovative and much-needed services to 14 -19 year olds in the Longbridge area. The proposals were made possible after the Council secured a grant from the Government’s Myplace programme, a Big Lottery Fund scheme to invest in iconic facilities for young people across the UK

Located off Longbridge Lane, the proposed new centre for young people will address the lack of dedicated facilities for young people in the area. The location of the new centre was selected for its proximity to Longbridge rail station and new Longbridge town centre site, maximising its accessibility. The £66 million Bournville College campus is situated opposite, on part of the new Longbridge town centre site.

The building has been designed by Associated Architects and will feature multi-functional rooms, performing arts space, and a theatre/ sports hall/ conference room. It will also include an ICT suite, media centre, workshop area, outdoor multi-use games area, café and garden. The facilities will support a range of sporting activities, creative and performing arts, active citizenship and volunteering, youth business and social enterprise and guidance counselling such as health services, education, training and career advice.

The plans for the new Centre for Young People were developed following extensive consultation with young people. A Youth Forum was created to progress the design plans and engender a sense of ownership from the outset. The Youth Forum bought together representatives from local schools, youth providers and Involve – the Constituency Youth Forum.

Mike Murray, senior development surveyor for St. Modwen, said: “The Centre for Young People will play an important part in the long-term social, cultural and economic improvement of Longbridge – an area where there is currently no statutory youth provision. Providing a safe and welcoming facility, the centre will give young people the opportunity to participate in a range of activities and enterprise programmes, with the space to socialise and enjoy new learning experiences in preparation for their future. In turn it is envisaged that this will have a positive effect on the ongoing growth and future prosperity of Longbridge.”

Councillor Les Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families for Birmingham City Council, said: “This is a very exciting project. We have made sure the young people who will be using the centre have been fully involved its design and development. It’s a fantastic opportunity for those living in the South-west of the city and an important cornerstone of regeneration drives for the Longbridge area. We have had a very successful partnership with St Modwen to deliver a facility that I am sure will set the standard for youth centres.”

The regeneration of Longbridge is a £1 billion project covering 468 acres and aspires to a total jobs target of 10,000 for the whole development through a diverse range of industries, together with a 2,000 new homes, a new town centre for Longbridge with a range of retail, leisure and public facilities and new parks and public open spaces.

As part of the planning process members of the public will get a chance to study and give their views on the proposals during a public consultation period, which will run for at least 28 days, and be advertised locally and via the council’s planning website (www.birmingham.gov.uk/planningonline).