Multi-million pound youth centre opens in Harlesden

Roundwood Youth Centre to offer a range of activities for teenagers

Teenagers in some of the most deprived parts of the borough are celebrating today (Thursday) following the launch of a multi-million pound youth centre.

The Roundwood Youth Centre, in Harlesden officially opened its doors today after a five year wait.

Youngsters will be able to enjoy a range of activities including drama, dance and taekwondo at the building in Longstone Avenue and will also be able to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and an array of creative arts programmes.

Paid for using �5m worth of Big Lottery funding, the idea was originally conceived in 2008 but after a change in government it was thrown into doubt as to whether the funding would come through.

However, after a period of lobbying from both local youngsters involved in the project and Brent Council it was given the green light to continue and construction started in August last year.

Among those involved in the initial planning was 16-year-old Kubra Shah, a member of the Roundwood Youth Board and Brent Youth Parliament.

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She told the Times: “I feel very connected to the centre and it was great to be involved from the start.

From talking to other young people I was able to find out what they wanted to see and make suggestions.”

Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council said he was ‘delighted’ the centre was opening.

He said: “This is a fantastic modern building that will make a huge difference to young people in Harlesden, Stonebridge and beyond.

“We consulted with young people as much as we could to make sure we provided the best facilities we could.”

A special prom night will be held tomorrow (Friday) with around 200 local teenagers celebrating the opening.

Roundwood was built by construction group Morgan Sindall.

Bob Ench, area director for the company said the centre would be hugely beneficial to the local community.

He said: “The centre will provide teenagers with a safe and welcoming environment; we are delighted to have completed a building that will have such a great impact on the local community.”