Last year, the council made a commitment to find a new permanent home for the Young Adult Centre (YAC) in Southall.
Following a public consultation that was held by the council’s Youth Service in 2022 and a meeting held by The Young Ealing Champions in 2021, young people and residents have demonstrated unanimous support for the site to remain in its current location, and to focus investment on an upgrade to the facilities that the youth centre currently offers.
Plans to improve the YAC
Council leader Peter Mason said: “The council’s new leadership said we would be open, transparent, and inclusive. The young people of Southall came together to make clear that they wanted to keep the YAC where it is and, after our recent engagement and much thinking, we agree.
“To every young person who has raised their voice on such an important issue, we say: ‘We have listened to your thoughts on the plans for a new youth centre in Southall, we understand your concerns and how important the Southall Young Adult Centre is to you, and we agree should remain where it is.’
“Not only that, but we now want to work with you to make the YAC even better, and find a way to put it into your hands permanently, for good.”
‘A highly valued resource’
The Southall YAC is a recognised part of the community, where young people come together to take part in social activities, educational and sports events within their community. It is a recognised space for study, exploring new skills, gaining qualifications and meeting new people.
Its facilities include a fitness studio, music studios, a games area and IT section. The centre also offers an outdoor, floodlit multi-sports pitch and large hall area for indoor sports and games. It also provides an advice and guidance service from youth workers and connexions providers.
Councillor Aysha Raza, the council’s cabinet member for tackling inequalities, stated: “We realise the YAC is a highly valued resource within the community and is an important location for connection, health, study and recreational activities, especially with its youth programme, which has contributed so much to young people’s lives.”
Cabinet member for a fairer start, Councillor Kamaljit Nagpal, said: “The YAC is an important space in the community, and we will be working with local people to find out what they feel can be added to make improvements to the youth centre and any added requirements it needs – so it can continue being an important asset to the community.”