Boost from developers to support Leeds’s young people

Artists impression of the Victoria Gate retail development in Leeds.
Artists impression of the Victoria Gate retail development in Leeds.
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five organisations in Leeds have been given a funding boost to help develop the employment skills of young people.

Groups across the city have received more than £8,000 from Hammerson’s Victoria Gate Fund in partnership with Leeds Community Foundation.

The fund has supported G-Tech Youth Code, Involve, St Luke’s Care, The Hunslet Club and Solutions for the Planet.

G-Tech Youth Code will provide a programme focussed on computer science and digital technology for young people with active, hands-on learning.

Involve will use the cash boost to help role out the iVenture Programme which is aimed at vulnerable young people to help give them the opportunity to learn new skills.

Cash will also be used by St Luke’s to support its latest project The Shine Nail Bar.

Jon Brookes, community manager at Hammerson, said: “We are committed to engaging with the local community and are delighted to have been able to support these local projects through our Fund.

“All of these projects help to provide young people across the city with the essential skills and knowledge to be successful in securing future employment.”

The Hunslet Club will use the funding to help run an employment skills course for 14 to 16 year olds to provide support with CV writing, confidence building, interview preparation tools and workplace etiquette.

And Solutions for the Planet will work with three local schools to deliver an enterprise and sustainability programme to encourage young people to develop ideas with the support of business mentors.

The finalists will be the given the chance to speak at the Houses of Parliament.

Sally-Anne Greenfield, chief executive of Leeds Community Foundation, said: “It is inspiring to see companies in Leeds investing time and money back into the local community.

“With nearly 7,000 young people in Leeds out of education, employment or training, this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

“The grants from the Victoria Gate Fund will enable the projects to offer much needed skills to help young people reach their full potential and work towards gaining employment.”

Construction work is currently underway to create the £150m Victoria Gate development.

The YEP reported the project will deliver a 21,000m² John Lewis store, which is expected to be open by Autumn 2016. There will also be a 21st century-inspired retail arcade with up to 30 stores, restaurants, cafes and a casino and multi-storey car park.