Southall’s Young Adult Centre (YAC) is set for a bright future following the decision taken by the council’s cabinet yesterday evening (19 April) to spend £2.8million to retrofit and renovate the building.
Previously, there were plans to redevelop the site and move Southall’s Young Adult Centre (YAC) to a different location. But following consultation with local residents and the young people who use the Centre, these plans will no longer be going ahead.
Young people and local residents demonstrated unanimous support for the YAC to remain in its current location during the public consultation.
The YAC is already a building that is valued by both the young people who use it and local residents. These works will ensure the current tired building is environmentally friendly, safe and modern, allowing it to continue to be valued for many years to come.
Councillor Peter Mason, leader of Ealing Council said: “Residents were clear that they didn’t want the YAC to be demolished and redeveloped, so we have listened, and are now committing funding to support the next phase of the YAC’s lifecycle. This decision will ensure not only that the facilities can be modernised, but also that young people can be a more central part of the future management of the YAC, so they will be actively involved in finalising the designs. We are committed to being an open, transparent and inclusive council, and this decision is part of that.”
A list of works has been identified which includes work to the fabric of the building such as heating and electrics, replacing doors and windows, improving accessibility by installing a lift, upgrading security and redecorating throughout.
But there are also plans to upgrade the existing sound studio, replace and improve IT cabling and WiFi, create a new kitchen, remodel the interior to create better useable space including a gym and fitness area, and extend the community room to provide more space for partners and community use. There are also plans to re-landscape the site to make sure that more sports and activities can happen, more of the time, by renovating and modernising the Multi-Use Games Area with Astroturf and flood lighting for more people to use and enjoy.
Councillor Kamaljit Nagpal, cabinet member for a fairer start said: “As a council, we have listened to the local community and the young people who use the YAC, and are taking the opportunity to make sure that the YAC is fit for the future. It is exciting to be able to take this opportunity to rethink a much valued space and ensure it is fit for purpose for many, many years to come.
“Actions to make the building more environmentally sustainable are a key requirement which, along with incorporating the voices of children and young people in the design, will create a vibrant, sustainable, and cost-effective building for the future.”
It is hoped that the works will start later this year. This will take place in four stages:
- Stage 1 – the current building will be decommissioned, planning permission will be sought for the changes to the building, and a construction partner will be appointed
- Stage 2 – renovation, with services temporarily relocated to Dormers Hub
- Stage 3 – work starts on YAC on refurbishment. The final refurbishment to be identified following consultations with young people and the community
- Stage 4 – the external development of the site, MUGA (Multi Use Games Area), fencing, lighting to take place.
Cabinet also agreed that an options appraisal will be undertaken to consider and create an alternative delivery model for youth services in Ealing which may include the formation of a Charitable Foundation to safeguard the delivery of future youth services not just at the YAC, but across the borough.