At a planning control meeting of the council on Thursday night, permission was granted for the redevelopment of the YMCA site in Central Milton Keynes. The site which is next to CMK police station currently contains a 23-bed emergency access homeless shelter and 123 flats that YMCA lets to formerly homeless young people.
YMCA Milton Keynes has been providing housing and support to young people in Central Milton Keynes since 1981 but its facilities are in need of regeneration.
The new development will see the creation of a new YMCA facility that will contain 196 units of accommodation plus facilities such as meeting and training rooms, office space, a nursery, café, shops, gym and dance studio, and a community sports hall.
These facilities are designed to provide training and employment opportunities for the young people who YMCA support but also to generate new income streams which is important as funding from government and the local authority to YMCA Milton Keynes has been withdrawn.
Chief Executive of YMCA Milton Keynes Simon Green, said: “Our facilities no longer match the aspirations we have for the young people we support.
“The new facilities that we will create will both generate new income streams and create a fantastic environment for our community of young people to live in.
“There is a housing crisis for young people in Milton Keynes and demand for our accommodation has been increasing steadily for many years.
“We are the only housing option for many young people but funding pressures mean that we are faced with either cutting our services or trying to finance them in other ways.
“We have chosen the latter option and we are delighted to be able to increase our accommodation offer and supporting facilities.
“Despite the challenging financial climate, we remain ambitious both as an organisation and for the individual young people who we support and we will continue to support young people to belong, contribute, and thrive.”
The new YMCA facility will be funded through a grant from the Homes and Communities Agency, borrowing by the charity, and funds generated through the development of 250 flats on the site designed for the private rented sector.
This will further boost the supply of accommodation in Central Milton Keynes.
Work on the site is expected to commence in 2017 and the new YMCA facility to be open in late 2018.