We will invest over £1.3million in facilities for children and young people with additional needs.

Child hand drawing

Following agreement by Cabinet, a new centre will be created to support some of the district’s most vulnerable children and their families.

The Young People’s Activity Team (YPAT) run a ‘short breaks’ service providing weekend clubs, school holiday play schemes and after-school clubs – all offering vital leisure opportunities for 5 to 18-year-olds with a range of needs including profound and complex.

Proposals are now approved to relocate the service to its own dedicated building and create much-needed specialist care and support facilities which help children and young people with disabilities to thrive.

YPAT currently shares a site in Ravensthorpe but will move to new premises – a council owned former nursery building just 300 metres away – and set a new standard for high-quality short breaks in Kirklees.

With major investment of around £1.36million, improved facilities will meet the growing level of need and provide scope for the short breaks offer to be further enhanced in future.

A wide range of partners were involved in developing the plans, including parents, children and young people. Their involvement will also continue through the next stages of the process.

It is hoped that the new centre could be ready to open by summer 2023.

Cllr Carole Pattison, Cabinet member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said:

“This is a really important step forward in the way we support families affected by Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in Kirklees.

Cllr Viv Kendrick, Cabinet member for Children, said:

“The new centre will provide a brilliant range of equipment and resources – both indoors and outdoors – to enrich the lives of children and young people who use them.

“Our goal is to help people fulfil their potential and achieve the best possible outcomes, regardless of the challenges they may face in life. Kirklees will be the proud home of a truly exceptional facility.”

To see the full proposals that were approved by Kirklees Cabinet, you can read the report.