Youth base's future in limbo

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 21/01/2014
Number 10
NICOLE GOURLEY/FAIRFAXNZ
Number 10 One Stop Shop for Youth

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The fate of one of the community's most used youth services is still uncertain with its lease running out in just two months.

The inner-city upgrade plan revealed last year that the Number 10 One Stop Shop for Youth, Invercargill Student Support Network and the Invercargill Attendance Service would all be thrown out of their current site, behind the former Esk St bowling green.

The property is owned by the council and earmarked in the plan to become a family and youth-friendly space.

The plan states the area is one of the only green spaces in the city and a strategically important location and requires the building, which is currently used by the agencies, to be removed.

But with only two months left on their lease for the property, the council has still not decided whether it will be renewed or the groups will be evicted.

Inner city upgrade boss and city councillor Graham Sycamore said as ''responsible landlords'' it was unlikely the council would put them out on to the street with nowhere to go.

The lease runs out on March 31.He appreciated the wide range of work the three organisations did in the community and appropriate premises would still have to be found.

He said the youth services may not even have to move, as the upgrade plan was still being finalised and everything was still ''up in the air''.

''It might be one of the things that changes in the plan."

While the council was likely to work with the organisations, there was always the possibility the council would not renew the leases, he said.

''From their perspective, if they are aware of the lease running out then they are responsible.''

With no immediate plans for the land, it was likely the lease would be extended, he said.

''There's no urgent rush for the council to end the lease at the end of the month.''

One thing is for sure, we wouldn't put them on the street and chuck them out.''

Number 10 One Stop Shop for Youth chairman Jo O'Connor did not return phone calls yesterday.

Invercargill Student Support Network director Louis Conway said she was unsure of the plans for the building but would prefer not to move.

''Our first choice would be to remain where we are.''

There were no alternative plans  for the organisation, but they would most likely move to where Number 10 relocated.

''I am not too worried at this stage, my understanding is that council plans aren't well advanced.''

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Invercargill City Council chief executive Richard King did not answer messages left for him yesterday.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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