Council chiefs are set to spend £275,000 on a centre for teenage asylum seekers in York.

The centre would be located in the Fulford area of York and would cater for four children aged 16 or 17. 

On July 18, 2019, £1,360,000 in capital budget was approved by City of York Council to support a children in care commissioning plan.

The fund was granted so that three properties in Fulford could be purchased and adapted by the council.

A council report on the allocation of the funding included plans to develop a £275,000 centre for teenage asylum seekers in York.

The plans involve a "bespoke supported accommodation provision to accommodate four unaccompanied asylum seeking children". The centre would cater for children aged 16 to 17.

City of York Council plans to develop a second centre of this sort in 2024/25, provided the capital budget becomes available.

The report said: "If this scheme proves successful, we will aim to develop a second welcome centre within six to 12 months.

"Exploring all prudently affordable options, including the use of existing council owned property to minimise further financial liability."


Martin Kelly, the council's corporate director of children and education, said: "In developing proposals to create a Welcome Centre in York, our aim is to ensure that we are able to protect and support vulnerable unaccompanied asylum-seeking children by providing safe, welcoming accommodation and support in the most cost effective way."

Both the executive member for children, Cllr Bob Webb and the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nigel Ayre, spoke on the plans at a meeting on January 25.

Cllr Webb said: "This welcome centre approach, I think it's is a common-sense approach, quite frankly.

"For us it's a caring approach that we're welcoming these young people into our city.

"If we don't take this approach those people could end up across the country but still in our care.

"That, quite frankly, costs us more and is worse for those young people.

"This is our opportunity to do something positive for vulnerable people."

Cllr Nigel Ayre, leader of the Lib Dem group on the council, said that he was "happy to support the paper".

The council currently has 19 unaccompanied asylum seeking children in its care, with the average cost of those children being £930 per week.

The Home Office contributes £52,000 per year, plus an additional £6,000 for children that are found a placement within five days of a referral.