Plans are in place to open a youth centre in Swindon following a multi-million-pound investment. 

Swindon Borough Council has confirmed that the town's young people will soon have a place to make their own following confirmation of £3.8m in funding from the Central Government's Youth Investment Fund. 

The sizable amount of money will be used to transform the currently empty Lyndhurst Centre in Park North into a youth centre capable of supporting more than a hundred children a week. 

It is hoped that this inclusive facility will provide open-access youth services for all children in Swindon and offer interventions designed to deter young people from potential trouble.

Activities that will be on offer to children and young people will include music, cooking sessions, health and beauty, health and fitness and informal education. 

There will also be activities for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and opportunities for young people to engage with local training and employment opportunities in the Borough.

The council’s cabinet approved the funding in September last year and work is already taking place to refurbish the existing Lyndhurst Centre this year ahead of a planned opening in March 2025.

Councillor Paul Dixon, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for children’s social care, said: “I’m very pleased we’ve got this funding confirmed and it’s a big boost for the Borough’s young people.

“We want to make sure children and young people have these spaces where they can go, interact with each other, and learn valuable skills.

“Not only will it improve their quality of life, but it will also have an impact in making Swindon safer for future generations.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the transformation of the building and welcoming people through its doors next year.”

When plans for the new centre were tabled in September last year, the council said most of the money, £3.2m, would be used to bring the building up to standard for use, while £400,000 would be used for the running costs for the first year of operation.

This news comes after a big spotlight has been placed on Swindon's young people following several incidents of gang-related violence which led one local charity to warn: "We are losing a Swindon generation to violence, drugs and death".

One example of this is the murder of teenager Owen Dunn, 18, from Penhill, in December 2022, 

Dunn's life was taken by two other young people, an unnamed 15-year-old who was 14 at the time, and 18-year-old Tyler Hunt, who was 17 at the time.