Plans for new youth hubs at Lightwaves Leisure Centre in Wakefield and in Hemsworth revealed
Indoor games and activities for children and young teenagers will be at the forefront of two new youth hubs, which could be set up within the next few months.
Wakefield Council has announced plans to create two new centres in Wakefield and Hemsworth, which will offer young people the chance to socialise and enjoy life outside of school hours.
The Lightwaves Leisure Centre has been identified as the likely venue for the Wakefield hub, while discussions are ongoing about which council building will be used to host activities in Hemsworth.
The proposals will go before Cabinet next month for approval.
The council's deputy leader, Coun Jack Hemingway, said the multi-million pound plans were "really positive news".
"I think there's huge demand for youth provision locally," he said.
"Since austerity started in 2010, there’s been huge decimation of youth statutory services.
“I’m really pleased because of the way we’ve managed the council’s finances over the years that we’re now able to go forward with this and make it happen."
Both hubs will mirror similar work that's already taking place at The Hut Community and Leisure Centre in Airedale.
Young people in Wakefield and Hemsworth will also be consulted over the specifics of the scheme.
Coun Hemingway said measures would be taken to ensure children were kept safe going to and from the Lightwaves, given drink-related anti-social behaviour issues that have afflicted the streets around the leisure centre in recent years.
"That's an issue we'll take very seriously and we'll ensure these places are well-staffed, safe and welcoming for young people," he said.
"We recognise the impact that the pandemic has had on the mental health of young people.
"This isn't a panacea, it’s not going to solve every problem for every young person in the district.
"But this will give older children an opportunity to socialise, to mix their friends and do all the things that they've missed doing over the last year or so, and I think that can only be a good thing."
Local Democracy Reporting Service