Brent's new £5m landmark youth centre was opened last week. Leader of Brent, Councillor Muhammed Butt, officially launched the world-class Roundwood Youth Centre in Longstone Avenue, at an event on Thursday 1 November, for adult guests connected with the project. The project was opened to young people in the community the following night. Activities on offer at the Mace-designed centre will include drama, dance, taekwondo, a homework club, media sessions, a debating session and a Brent Youth Matters forum meeting. The Mace design team worked with Morgan Sindall to deliver the design and build project.
Roundwood is aimed at young people aged 13 to 19 in Harlesden and the surrounding areas. Big Lottery ‘myplace' funding has paid for it and the centre and services it offers were designed in consultation with young people. Councillor Butt said: "Roundwood Centre is a fantastic, modern building that will make a huge difference to young people in the Harlesden and surrounding areas, providing a safe place for hundreds of them to learn, train and enjoy themselves. We consulted with young people and took their views into account as much as possible to make sure we provided the best facilities we could."
Young people like Kubra Shah helped decide what the centre would offer, how it would be run and even helped pick the furniture. Kubra, aged 16 and from Harlesden, said: "I feel very connected to the Roundwood Centre and am really looking forward to it opening. It's very exciting and I look forward to taking in activities I have always wanted to do." Roundwood has a media suite, performance area, an outdoor multi-use games area plus space for sports activities, an IT suite, a dance studio, an art room and a café, as well as flexible spaces for young people to use for meetings and clubs.
Mike Shaw, head of design, from Mace, said: “The building is a fresh approach to the creation of a youth centre, rooted in a comprehensive consultation process, which was maintained throughout the project.”
Roundwood was built by construction and regeneration group Morgan Sindall. Bob Ensch, area director, said: "Roundwood Youth Centre is a great facility which will make a positive difference to the lives of young people living in Brent. Morgan Sindall has extensive experience in constructing both leisure and education projects and we have drawn on this knowledge to deliver this scheme. The centre will provide teenagers with a safe and welcoming environment and we're delighted to have completed a building which will have such a great impact on the local community."