In 2007, Birmingham City Council submitted a number of bids to the Government’s Youth Matters initiative to build high quality dedicated buildings for young people aged 13 – 19 years. Two of the council’s bids were successful. The new buildings are located in the Lozells end of the six ways round-about near us and another in Longbridge. Costing around £5 million each, and estimated to be finished sometime in the Spring of this year with young people able to use them by the Summer.
A number of local youth and community organisations have been working with the council to develop the plans for the building near us and are most likely to be some of the voluntary sector agencies delivering services from there. They include the Bangladeshi Youth Forum, St Georges Community Hub, Young Disciples amongst others. A more precise list of who will do what in the building has not been published, although it is envisaged – as it always is hoped with new builds – a range of statutory and voluntary sector organisations would offer services. When we hear more, we will let you know.
There have been ongoing engagement with potential service users of the building – i.e. local young people associated with these groups, but the Forum is disappointed Council leaders in charge have not shared news and information widely to local residents and other community leaders who are naturally pleased for the investment locally. However, they have offered to attend future Forum Community meetings to share more news.
After the closure of Holte Community Leisure Centre back in Christmas 2010 by the Ladywood Constituency, the news of a bespoke facility in our area is very welcomed although this new building will not be open to all. Children younger than 13 years and anyone over 19 years will not be catered for. In early 2011, the new mega school building was opened replacing the old Holte, Lozells and Mayfield school sites. The Forum agree our school children deserve high-tech education facilities, but previous promises the new school building will open for at least some community leisure use have not materialised over a year on.
The Forum would like to hear your views and comments regarding this story, so please do get in touch.