Fancy running South Leeds Youth Hub? Now’s your chance!

South Leeds youth Hub could move into community ownership
South Leeds youth Hub could move into community ownership

Fancy running a £5 million flagship next generation youth centre in Belle Isle?

Well, council chiefs are hoping to offload the running of the much-vaunted – but underused – youth facilities, which opened two years ago.

They’re looking for “not for private profit” local organisations to take the lease on the building on the site of the former Merlyn Rees High School in Belle Isle.

South Leeds Youth Hub logoAnd they’re organising a special briefing session later this month for organisations who may wish to run the hub.

The Hub currently provides a range of activities and services including motorbike and go-kart workshops, a hair and beauty zone and job and careers advice as well as a music and media studio, IT suite, health clinics, an outdoor graffitti wall and an allotment garden. It was funded by ‘myplace‘ – a government scheme run by the Big Lottery Fund.

As part of the original application it was proposed to move the building to a ‘community ownership model’ as part of the future plans for the centre.

Here’s the blurb the council sent South Leeds Life this afternoon:

In response to local consultation, Leeds City Council would like to invite expressions of interest from “not for private profit” organisations who are interested in taking a lease for South Leeds Youth Hub, Middleton Road, Leeds, LS10 3JA.  Expressions of interest are invited from capable and enterprising organisations that could develop the operation of South Leeds Youth Hub as a centre for young people.  Objectives include increasing footfall by offering a range of low cost activities for young people are priorities, contributing to the Leeds Youth Offer, and MyPlace outcomes associated with the capital grant.

At present South Leeds Youth Hub is highly subsidised (figures are available on request).  Any organisation proposing to take on a lease should consider this carefully, as they will be expected to demonstrate through a robust and viable business plan, the required level of reducing financial commitment from Leeds City Council, towards financial self-sufficiency within 4 years.

The lease will be offered on a full repair and maintenance basis for a minimum of 18 years (in line with the duration of the terms and conditions of the MyPlace capital grant).

The following conditions must be met for any proposal to be considered:

  • Any proposal will be subject to the MyPlace grant terms and conditions until October 2028 including continued achievement of MyPlace outcomes. These include the provision of activities to support the personal, social, health and wellbeing of young people, and a requirement that there is no significant change of purpose or recipient that makes it unlikely to fulfil the purposes for which the grant was awarded;
  • Any organisation proposing to take over the building must have transparent community or public control and robust governance arrangements, including appropriate mechanisms for ensuring that the voice and influence of young people is central to development and implementation;
  • Adequate public liability and any other relevant insurances must be put in place by the organisation;
  • National standards for Health and Safety will have to be fully met;
  • Evidence of income generation strategies to avoid the need to request any capital, revenue or emergency funding from Leeds City Council after four years;
  • Any proposal will have to demonstrate that they have the capacity to manage the project effectively.

There will be a briefing session at 3.30pm – 5pm, 27th September 2013held at South Leeds Youth Hub to give more information to organisations who are considering submitting an expression of interest.  The event will include a tour of the facility, background information, details of available support, processes and next steps, and a chance to ask questions.

To book a place at this event, or if you have any enquiries, please call or email Sue Pennycook, South Leeds Youth Hub Change Manager:0113 336 7779 /

Back in April, Cllr Judith Blake said:

“This presents a unique opportunity for the right organisation to take on a fantastic building with state of the art facilities. We would be looking for an organisation that has the needs of children and young people at its heart, is keen to help up achieve our aim to be a Child Friendly City, and is able to offer a proposal which would see the Hub become fully self-sufficient and sustainable.

“Transferring the Hub to a community organisation would help maximise the existing excellent facilities and help even more children and young people from across the city benefit from what the Hub has to offer.”

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