In June a group from the community including members of FNKL got in contact with the council, asking why the Lancaster Youth Club (LYC) building was not being used and requested to run community led activities there. Council information was that work had already begun to demolish the building - subsequently stopped as part of the council agreement made in July 2017 after the Grenfell tragedy, to put all new regeneration plans on hold.
We were invited to go and see the building with deputy leader, Kim Taylor-Smith , Cllr Faulks and Gary Lisney, senior property asset management surveyor. Surprisingly the building seemed just as it was when in use prior to the fire, less office furniture. At the meeting we learnt that the Council is now looking to get the building back in use as quickly as possible. The council was given a quote of £250,000 to cover works to the building to bring it back into use, which Taylor-smith was not willing to agree to and instead agreed to £50,000 to cover essentials.
The council agreed to having community led activities held at LYC and asked us to put forward our proposal. The council has also been in contact with EPIC and we hear extended their contract from March to Sept 2019. We are now in negotiations about what available time there is for community led activities at the building.
Aside from the short term use, we believe discussions about the future of the building and whom any development there will benefit should be opened to the public. The Council's original plan would have 3 floors for private schools Chepstow House and Notting Hill Prep School (NHPSL) Limited with a Multi Use Games Area on top which some see as accommodating NHPSL.
By Jacob Rety, who attended LYC in the 1980's.