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York Council in Talks To Sell Castlegate Youth Centre Building

York Council 010513

6:57pm 14th October 2014

York Council is in talks to sell it's Castlegate youth centre to York Civic Trust so Fairfax House Museum can be expanded.

The council's confirmed York Civic Trust approached them "some time ago", which Minster FM understands could be around two years ago, to buy the building to expand Fairfax House Museum. But the council says the building has not been sold yet.

Tracey Carter, Assistant Director of Finance, Asset Management and Procurement, City of York Council said:

“York Civic Trust approached the council some time ago to ask whether the council would sell 29 Castlegate to them as part of their plans to expand Fairfax House Museum. At that stage Castlegate was still in use and there were no plans to move the services currently delivered from the building and no agreement to sell was made."

“As part of the council’s transformation programme these services have subsequently been reviewed, resulting in the Cabinet decision made last week which is currently subject to Call In. The Civic Trust have continued to express their interest in the building throughout this period and we have engaged positively with them as an organisation seeking to preserve historic assets in the city and the operator of a successful visitor attraction. Those discussions have always been subject to the any future decisions made about the young peoples service operating from the building. No agreement has been made to sell the building. This is a decision reserved for Cabinet."  

“The council regularly reviews the use of all its buildings as part of its Asset Management strategy to ensure that they are being used and managed in the most effective way. If plans to close Castlegate are approved, the future use of the building will be considered as part of the strategy.”

A decision to close the centre was taken earlier this month with the authority saying moving young people's services to it's West Offices headquarters would "an enhanced and co-ordinated post 16 young people’s service" with many different organisations under one roof.

But critics say young people would not seek help from a more adult location, such as council offices. A petition against the closure of Castlegate has more than a thousand signatures. Opposition Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors have also called for a re-think. A meeting to look again at the decision will be held on Monday.

Minster FM is waiting for a response from the York Civic Trust.

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