WIRRAL's young people are one step closer to getting a multi-million pound youth centre as it moves into its next stage of planning.
The council's ruling cabinet is set to note the progress of Wirral Youth Zone which will give local teenagers a "modern, safe and purposeful alternative to the streets."
The centre, which will be based in the fire station's home in Exmouth Street, Birkenhead, will feature a sports hall, cafe, fitness suite and arts facilities.
Onside North West - the charity responsible for setting up other Youth Zones across the region - has been giving guidance to the project's "steering group" which consists of local councillors, youth club representatives and other partner agencies.
Onside has estimated the centre would cost a total of £6.5m which would be contributed from public, private and voluntary organisations.
A new charity would also be formed by Onside to manage and develop the facility which would be open all year round to ages eight to 21.
And last year councillors agreed that £200,000 will be allocated from the 2012/2013 capital budget to allow further exploration to be carried out.
Councillor Sheila Clarke, chair of children and young people's overview and scrutiny committee, believes the scheme will bring mark a new generation of youth clubs.
Councillor Clarke said: "We want to create an iconic building and the location has got great transport links so it is open to all young people.
"When we started discussing the project, we called it 'Birkenhead Youth Zone' but we have since changed that because we want to get rid of the tribalism among some communities and make sure everyone can make use of it.
"It is absolutely paramount to provide somewhere our young people want to go to and use a range of resources and activities."
According to the cabinet papers, Merseyside Fire and Rescue has agreed to donate a piece of their land as part of their involvement with communities.
Birkenhead Fire Station is set to be redeveloped and fire bosses are keen for the land freed up to be used by the Youth Zone.
Now the steering group is considering two options for the centre; one of which would also include building on land occupied by Charing Cross Methodist Church.
The report will be considered by councillors at Wallasey Town Hall next Thursday, February 2.
Kieran Timmins, deputy chief executive of Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, said: “We would actively look out for opportunities to work with young people as part of our protection and prevention work.
"It looks like a fantastic opportunity where Wirral Youth Zone might be able to share facilities with the fire station and firefighters could act as role models for the young people.
"The potential project is in its early stages however we are in positive talks with Wirral Council about the land."
Sorry for sounding like a killjoy but the council is allocating £200000 for "further exploration". Could they please explain this and what it will be spent on?
Will it be going to a "mates" consultation company? or some other back hander to some one else on the take.
Well I will charge you nothing and say this - there are plenty of places around that could be used for youth centers and they wont cost £3 million pounds.
Try the Lauries centre - always looks empty anyway
up the road is a new YMCA and there are plenty under used council building around that could be utilised.
Dont situate a youth center between a Macdonalds and a Pub
Mind you I suppose it would work if you included a creche for all the underage pregnancies and a shoot up room for the druggies and a load of toilets for the pissed kids to throw up in.