Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur used Culture Question Time in Parliament this afternoon to raise the serious funding issues facing the Orkney Youth Café.
Mr McArthur highlighted how the Café has been an invaluable resource for young people in Orkney, offering opportunities to socialise, take part in a range of activities and develop skills and self-confidence. Funding challenges, however, now threaten its future viability prompting Mr McArthur to urge the Minister to ask his officials to engage directly with the Café’s Board to explore all possible funding options.
In response, the Minister, Alasdair Allan MSP said he was happy to ask government officials to take forward those discussions.
Today’s exchange comes after Mr McArthur lodged a Parliamentary Motion earlier in the week calling for future funding to be secured. This motion has attracted cross party support, although it is not due to be debated.
After the Question Time, Mr McArthur said:
“It would be a travesty if by the end of the Year of Young People the Orkney Youth Café were to close its doors. This has been an invaluable resource for young people in our islands, and one whose future must be safeguarded.
“I very much welcome the Minister’s constructive response to my request and his willingness to ask government officials to engage with the Café’s Board to help identify possible funding solutions.
“I hope those discussions, as well as the other initiatives being taken forward by Café staff, board members and wider support group, prove successful. This community facility already has a legacy to be proud of, but so much more to offer in future.”
Motion Number: S5M-12606
Lodged By: Liam McArthur
Date Lodged: 05/06/2018
Title: Orkney Youth Café
That the Parliament recognises the outstanding contribution of the Orkney Youth Café to the local community; acknowledges that the café provides an invaluable resource for young people in Orkney, offering opportunities to socialise, take part in a range of activities and develop skills and self confidence; understands that the café faces a serious funding challenge that threatens its future viability; believes that, in the Year of Young People, the loss of such an asset to young people in Orkney would be inconceivable, and therefore wishes all those involved in efforts to identify future funding options for the Orkney Youth Café the best of luck.