On the packed agenda for the meeting of the Executive Board this Wednesday is a report to approve the start of a process which could lead to the transfer of the South Leeds Youth Hub to a not for profit organisation.
The Hub was developed on a small part of the former Merlyn Rees School site on Middleton Road in Belle Isle. The centre, which was built using a government grant made available in 2008, provides a high quality venue for a range of activities for young people including both educational provisions during the school day and out of school activities. The difficulty the Hub has always faced is how to provide for its revenue costs as no government funding was made available for this.
The report argues that such a transfer would both:
“increase positive outcomes for a greater number of young people through flexible and creative usage’ and ‘enable a reduction in the current 100% revenue risk to LCC, support increased utilisation, financial sustainability, improved stakeholder relations, faster responses to change and greater use of volunteers.”
The report states that the limited consultation that has taken place to date among a range of interested parties including young people indicates a universally high level of support for a community ownership mode. It is not at this stage clear how this can be combined with achieving a break-even revenue position in 4 years’ time when it is hoped a reducing revenue commitment from the Council can stop.
The report indicates that two unnamed potential providers have expressed an interested in the proposal and confirms that, if the report is approved, expressions of interest would be sought prior to submission of full business plans
“from interested, capable and enterprising “not for private profit” organisations who could take on a long lease”.