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Sunday, July 14, 2024

£1million boost for Kirklees youth facilities set to benefits thousands of youngsters

Kirklees Council has allocated funding of around £1million to improve and expand youth facilities across the district.

Earlier this year, local organisations were invited to apply for some of the money so that – working with the council and its partners – they could enhance what’s on offer for 13 to 19-year-olds (or up to age 25 for young people with special educational needs and disabilities).

The applications process is now complete and over 15 voluntary and community groups will receive funding for a huge range of exciting projects.

They are being delivered under ‘Our Space’ – a new way of providing great places for children and young people to visit, meet friends, make friends, access support and join in a whole host of high-quality activities.

The funding complements what’s already available in Kirklees and will provide more opportunities to boost mental and physical health among young people.

The Our Space concept was developed with a range of partners, with funding of around £1million later being agreed by Kirklees Cabinet – the council’s main decision making body. Young people themselves have been involved in developing Our Space every step of the way.

Some of the projects being funded include:

  • Creating two additional community rooms at Heckmondwike Community Centre so that more young people can use the building
  • Providing a youth hub at Honley Village Hall, enabling more young people, including those with disabilities, to access the space
  • Creating an interactive sensory machine at Sensory World, Dewsbury, to stimulate imagination. New disabled toilet facilities will increase accessibility
  • Upgrades to accommodation at Kickstart, Huddersfield, which gives young people a chance to use and maintain motorbikes whilst learning social skills and awareness of anti-social behaviour
  • Contribution to a new extension at Ravensthorpe Community Centre, making it more inclusive for all and improving cooking and dining facilities
  • New outdoor facilities at Fanwood Activity Centre, Gomersal. These will support wellbeing with mental and physical challenges, as well as improving physical health
  • Upgraded facilities, including a sound and vision suite, at the Watershed, Slaithwaite, to widen opportunities for young people to be creative
  • Contribution to improved facilities at Dewsbury Moor Sports Club, enabling more participation in sports, especially for girls
  • Contribution to a fully accessible outdoor area at Northorpe Hall, Mirfield, for children with additional needs. This will mean children and young people can learn valuable new skills and increase their confidence in group situations
  • Improvements to a creative centre of excellence for children and young people with additional needs, run by Shabang!, Huddersfield, leading to enhanced wellbeing and young people feeling less isolated
  • Major improvements to Central Youth Club, including making the building accessible to all young people by installing a lift so that those with mobility issues can access the sports hall
Cllr Carole Pattison
Image: West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Cllr Carole Pattison, Cabinet member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said: “Our Space is a fantastic concept which will mean more young people from age 13 upwards can access excellent, safe and inclusive facilities.

“We’re excited to be working with a wide variety of partner organisations, all sharing the aim to make Kirklees youth provision even better for many years to come.

“When funding applications opened, we had an amazing response from local groups. This showed a Kirklees-wide commitment to helping our young people thrive and enjoy the best start in life.

“The projects being funded by Our Space cover a vast array of support all across the district. Once they are all up and running, they will help us to enhance thousands of lives.”

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