Plans to invest millions in new youth facility to be discussed by Council’s Cabinet

By Jamie Hill - 15 September 2023


A proposal to create a new youth centre in Swindon could be given the go-ahead by councillors next week (20 Sep).

  •  The Lyndhurst Centre in Park North could benefit from a £3m investment to turn it into a new youth centre

    The Lyndhurst Centre in Park North could benefit from a £3m investment to turn it into a new youth centre

Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet will be asked to accept two grants which have been awarded to the local authority as part of its efforts to combat anti-social behaviour and knife crime across the town.

A total of £3.68m has been awarded to the Council, following a successful bid, which will transform the currently empty Lyndhurst Centre in Park North into a youth centre capable of supporting more than a hundred children a week.

The inclusive facility will provide open access youth services for all children in Swindon and offer interventions designed to deter young people from potential trouble.

Activities that will be on offer to children and young people will include:

  • Music
  • Cooking sessions
  • Health and beauty
  • Health and fitness
  • Informal education

There will also be activities for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and opportunities for young people to engage with local training and employment opportunities in the Borough.

If councillors approve the grant funding and its associated conditions, the existing Lyndhurst Centre would be refurbished during 2024 ahead of a planned opening in March 2025.

A second grant of £500,000 has also been awarded to the Council, subject to approval, which will help roll out a new intervention model across the Children’s and Youth Justice Service Partnership.

The intervention will target those who are most at risk of serious violence and aims to reduce violence across the Borough, including knife crime. It will specifically target adults and children in the following wards:

  • Gorse Hill and Pinehurst
  • Liden, Eldene and Park South
  • Penhill and Upper Stratton
  • Walcot and Park North

It is anticipated the programme will support 120 families, reaching between 240 and 300 children and young adults.

The programme will implement evidence-based models of multi-agency best practice with children and young adults in local communities. A particular focus will be on helping children to see themselves in ways that encourage positive behaviours, while also encouraging communities to tackle common problems, provide mutual support and work together for a positive future.

Councillor Paul Dixon, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, said: “It is so important that we provide youth services for our children and young people so we steer them away from potential criminal activity and, in particular, knife crime.

“I am delighted we have secured this funding which will help us in our Mission to reduce inequality across the town.

“If Cabinet colleagues approve the grant awards next week, we will press on with delivering this support as quickly as we can so we can begin to improve outcomes for some of the most vulnerable children and young adults in Swindon.”

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