Young people from Uxbridge College shared their hopes for the regeneration of Hayes at a conference at the Old Vinyl Factory.
‘Our Hayes, Our Future’ gave the students based at the Uxbridge College Hayes Campus a chance to contribute to redevelopment plans for the area.
The event, organised by Uxbridge College and supported by Cathedral Group plc and Brunel University, was one of a number taking place as part of the £250m scheme for a mixed-use development on the old EMI factory site off Dawley Road.
Mentors from Brunel University facilitated small group discussions which covered topics including: health; leisure and arts; education; employment, and housing.
The students’ wish list for the town included new music and drama venues, a more modern town centre, and a better choice of activities for people of all ages.
The event, which was also supported by Hillingdon Council and Hayes Town Partnership, took place in The Vinyl Lounge, a community venue on the site. It also marked the charity Youth Employment UK’s national campaign day to boost the number of young people in jobs.
Lorraine Collins, Executive Director of Enterprise and Development at Uxbridge College, said: “This has been an extremely valuable opportunity for our students to take part in this important process, and we are very grateful to the Old Vinyl Factory for making it possible. It was really interesting to hear what a positive attitude they had to Hayes and the college – including for forthcoming work to expand the community role of the Hayes Campus.”
Martyn Evans, Marketing & Creative Director for Cathedral Group Plc, joint venture partner with Development Securities plc, said: “We can’t do our job unless we listen to what people have to say about what they want in Hayes, and hearing from young people is a very important part of that process. We will certainly take their views into account in our continuing work to improve the area.”
Andrew Ward, Director of Corporate Relations at Brunel University, said: “The University is delighted to be working with the College and the Cathedral Group to hear what young people from Hayes say about how they see their futures. Some very interesting ideas and observations emerged that indicate that the students have thought seriously about the kind of world they wish to inhabit”
David Brough, Chairman of Hayes Town Partnership, said: “Too often public consultation exercises involve only a narrow part of the community and young people are the ones who get left out. Shaping the future of Hayes town is in their interests more than anybody else and I am therefore delighted that Uxbridge College and the Cathedral Group provided the opportunity for such a positive discussion.”
Ideas from the conference are also expected to be included in the ‘Manifesto for Economic Growth’ being created by Cathedral and Hillingdon Council.
Plans for the Old Vinyl Factory, which have received outline planning permission from Hillingdon Council, will include a business park with the aim of creating up to 4,000 jobs, houses and flats, a nine-screen multiplex cinema, restaurants, cafés and bars, and outdoor public space. A number of consultations are being held with local people and organisations to decide the content of the detailed planning consent for the five phases of development. In its heyday the site employed 7,500 people and produced gramophone sets and records by bands including The Beatles.