Ilkley sports hall on hold until budget plan is finalised

Ilkley Gazette: Ward councillor Martin Smith Ward councillor Martin Smith

A £250,000 bid to build a sports hall for young people in Ilkley has been put on hold until the future of Bradford Council-run youth services in the town is known.

Ward councillor Martin Smith, who is also chairman of charity Ilkley Youth and Community Association, says the proposed project to build the hall at the rear of the Warehouse youth centre, Little Lane, is now on hold, until the position of Bradford Council’s budget is clearer.

The sports hall would provide a venue for winter volleyball, winter cricket nets, five-a-side football and badminton, as well as much-needed facilities for disabled groups.

Coun Smith (Con, Ilkley) says plans for the sports hall have already been presented to funding bodies and an architect is ready to submit a planning application, but the uncertainty about the youth service means it is necessary to delay the scheme.

About 40 per cent of the funds have already been raised.

Coun Smith said: “The Ilkley Youth and Community Association has a lease on the youth club premises and is a charity of some longevity and funds from lettings have gone to upgrade the service in Ilkley.

“The service needs to continue in partnership with our schools, with the Council, police, Jobcentre Plus and with our health team at Airedale as health and welfare are a keen focus of the work at the Warehouse, linked with much enjoyable activity during the club meetings.

“Our business community could take part in the partnership. However, we shall need grants or charges from our partners to balance the books.”

He has suggested that Government money made available to Bradford Council through the New Homes Bonus scheme could be redirected to the youth service, therefore assisting housing tenants.

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