A charity which supports some of York’s most disadvantaged children has submitted plans to build a new activity centre.
York-based The Island wants to open a dedicated hub for young people in New Lane, Huntington, on the eight acre site which used to be Bradley’s Farm Shop.
The charity, which was set up in 2007, is based at a temporary facility in Shipton Road but now wants to relocate in order to increase its support for vulnerable young people.
Plans for the main building include space for a wide range of activities, including the arts, sports, music and a recording studio, as well as a café, therapy, tutoring and health advisory room.
An extensive outdoor landscaped area would include woodland, a wildflower meadow, a pond and wetland, parkland and sporting facilities, and a working garden for growing and planting.
The centre would be available for the wider community to use and enjoy, as well as sharing the space with other charities.
A statement submitted to City of York Council from The Island said it had helped more than 3,000 people since its inception
“This has been, however, constrained by the lack of physical space and resulted in young people missing out,” it added.
Youth provision across York has diminished in recent years and, according to the statement, youth club participation has reduced by more than 95 per cent in the past decade and 11 of the city’s 12 youth clubs have closed.
“This is a critical time for the youth sector,” the statement added. “Organisations like The Island must respond to the needs of our city’s children and young people now.
“This is a legacy project. It will change how people across the city perceive youth provision.”
The charity submitted the plans following a public consultation process.
Nigel Poulton MBE, CEO of The Island, said: “The feedback from the public consultation was extremely encouraging and we were particularly pleased that families who use The Island shared our excitement to deliver a purpose-built centre and fulfil our aim to create a safe, inspirational environment for children and young people.”
A decision on the planning application is expected in the coming months.