Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Funds found to back youth zone for Howick

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Howick Local Board chairperson Damian Light. File photo supplied

More than $100,000 has been reallocated from two projects to support the Howick Youth Facility and Programmes budget line.

Howick Local Board chair Damian Light says the $130,000 reallocated is made up of $82,000 originally budgeted for the Howick War Memorial Hall, and $48,000 from community grants.

“Our Youth Facility and Programmes budget requires more funding to secure a long-term Youth Space in Botany Town Centre.

“As projects progress the cost of delivery can change. As a result, variations are sought to our work programme to ensure we make the most of our budget and maximise the outcomes for locals.

“We trialled a temporary East Auckland Youth Space at Botany from April to September last year, a time when more than 10,000 young people went through the space, and 157 days of activities were held.

“Public feedback was overwhelmingly in favour of establishing a more permanent space.

“Our community partners in this project have approached us with an opportunity to set up a space for the next five years, time that will give the board and local youth the stability and certainty needed.”

Light says the money allocated to the Howick War Memorial Hall project is unlikely to be spent in this financial year and it makes sense to instead use it on a project that will deliver benefits to the community now.

There will be no impact on the current state of the Howick War Memorial Hall, which remains a venue for hire at no charge, while the board considers the options.

“The reallocation supports the optimisation of our available budget and aligns with the outcomes we are looking for under both our 2020 Local Board Plan, and the recently adopted 2023 plan, which will guide our activities over the rest of the board term,” Light says.

“Feedback from the community during our annual budget and Local Board Plan consultation was clear that we need to invest more in local youth.”

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