Council to explore setting up Derry youth quarter

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Young people in Derry could soon have their own civic space after councillors in the city agreed to explore the possibility of developing a youth quarter in the city.

A motion put forward by Sinn Fein’s Eric McGinley received cross party support at yesterday’s council meeting.

Mr McGinley proposed a working group be established to examine the possibility of “identifying a space that could be “set aside as a youth quarter.”

“This could for example, incorporate a music space, a movie space, an internet space and a meeting space, all of which would be managed in a controlled environment subject to normal health and safety procedures,” he said.

The Sinn Fein councillor said the exact design of the concept would be for organisations already involved with the city’s youth and “most importantly – young people to work out and devise.”

He said it was important to acknowledge the traditional youth club setting was now outdated and said a youth quarter would address the lack of youth provision in the city.

He said: “On a regular basis we hear stories of teenage crowds gathering in or near to residential areas and the subsequent disruption or fear of disruption which takes place.

“What is frustrating for everyone, whether that be the young people themselves, youth workers, PSNI and residents, is that the vast majority of teenagers who gather have little or no interest in alcohol or drugs or rowdiness but merely want to be with their group of friends and have a bit of craic.”

The motion to establish a working group to explore the concept of a youth quarter was passed unanimously.