Popular youth club told to Busz-y off

A youth hub that keeps hundreds of teenagers off the streets every week is being forced by to close to make way for a multi-story car park opposite CMK rail station.

The Buszy has been given notice by Milton Keynes Development Partnership to leave the former bus station building it has occupied for five years.

Already staff have warned the closure could prompt anti-social behaviour problems, with large numbers of young people left hanging about with nothing to do.

“Since we opened, crime in this area has reduced to almost zero. I dread to think what could happen now,” said Denise Davis-Boreham, chief executive of Make a Difference, which is the community interest company that runs The Buszy.

Open seven days a week, the venue offers constant activities, including a skate park, for youngsters aged 13 to 18.

It runs sessions for disabled people, disadvantaged teens, young carers and the homeless as well a holiday clubs for schoolchildren throughout the year.

Many youngsters are referred through social services at Milton Keynes Council for a dose of The Buszy fun and care, said Denise.

The council set up the commercially-run MK Development Partnership in 2013 to manage its £32m portfolio of land and assets – which includes The Buszy building and car park.

“We have managed to be financially self-sufficient by renting out car parking spaces to commuters and also hiring out rooms for private functions. We haven’t been a burden to anybody,” said Denise.

MKDP has ordered The Buszy to close by November 13.

The building is listed so cannot be demolished. It is not known what MKDP plan to do with it or when work on the new multi-storey will start.

Meanwhile council leader Pete Marland, who is on the board of MKDP, has vowed to help find The Buszy a new home if possible.

But the club must be financially self-sufficient, he warned.

A spokesman for MK Council further added: “There has been discussion regarding Make a Difference and The Buszy site.

“This is an issue between Make a Difference and the owners of the Buszy site, Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP). MKDP is an independent company, so any queries should therefore be directed to MKDP.

“Of course Milton Keynes Council values the work and contribution that Make a Difference and other voluntary organisations make and we are happy to discuss their future needs.”