Mixed results for centres in danger of axes

Lewisham Park Youth Centre.
Lewisham Park Youth Centre.

Lewisham Park Youth Centre and St Gabriel’s Community Centre are to be kept open after a year of uncertainty, Leeds City Council has confirmed.

Gildersome Youth Club will be shut however, with many of its groups and operations expected to be moved to Gildersome Meeting Hall.

The centres were three of 10 across the city facing potential closure since November last year as a result of local government cuts.

St Gabriel’s, in East Ardsley will be retained but with “increased input from a local community group”, a council report has confirmed.

The use of the building has grown in recent years while running costs have declined over the same period.

A similar deal is in store for Lewisham Park Centre, with volunteers expected to take over the running of the building at the expense of paid staff.

The report said: “Local members felt the current users were important in the context of Morley, and deserved support.”

Funds generated from the sale of Gildersome Youth Club meanwhile, will be reinvested into the Meeting Hall to make facilities fit for purpose.

Commenting on the decision to retain Lewisham Park after the consultation, Coun Neil Dawson said: “I am pleased that the council has listened to local people about the need to keep Lewisham Park centre open, and welcome this decision.

“It will be good to have more local management of the centre and more group using the centre.”

Coun Peter Gruen, executive member for support services, said that closures would only be a “last resort when all other options have been exhausted.”

“Community centres pay a valuable role in bringing communities together and we are very keen to support the effective running of centres which are well used and represent a good use of public money.”