Under threat Leeds youth centre ‘saved’ following campaign

Councillors and residents have been told Windmill Youth Club, in Rothwell, is unlikely to close. Picture by Steve Riding.
Councillors and residents have been told Windmill Youth Club, in Rothwell, is unlikely to close. Picture by Steve Riding.
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Fears that a popular youth club could close have been allayed by Leeds City Council.

A review of 10 Leeds community centres had cast doubt over the future of Rothwell’s Windmill Youth Centre, as the local authority announced last year it hoped to save £250,000 on the buildings by 2017.

But discussions between the council, local councillors and residents have led officers to recommend that the centre will remain under its control.

Rothwell residents had voiced concerns over the review, collecting over a thousand signatures on a petition to keep Windmill open.

Coun Karen Bruce (Lab, Rothwell) said: “This is the brilliant news we were hoping for and means that all our hard work together has paid off and it has been well worth it.

“But it isn’t over as we still need to work together to make better use of the centre to make it more cost-effective and help protect it.”

Last year a report to the council suggested many of the under-threat centres are expensive to run or of poor quality, while some have extensive maintenance backlogs.

The centres under review are St Gabriel’s Community Centre, in East Ardsley; Bramley Community Centre; Old Cockburn Sports Hall, in Hunslet; Kippax Youth Centre; Gildersome Youth Club; Lewisham Park Centre, in Morley; Weston Lane Community Centre, in Otley; Windmill; Fieldhead Youth and Adult Centre, in Whinmoor, and Meanwood Community Centre. The council does not own either the Windmill Youth Centre or St Gabriel’s Community Centre.

Coun Peter Gruen, the council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, said the recommendation to executive board will be for the council to “continue running and managing” Windmill. He added: “I hope we will be able to work with the local members in order to agree a way forward as soon as possible.”

The future of the other centres remains unclear.

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