COUNCIL bosses may sell off some Worcestershire youth centres in a bid to save themselves £1.4 million.

The future of youth centres hangs in the balance as leaders from Worcestershire County Council decide their fate at next Thursday’s cabinet meeting.

The move is part of a plan to cut £1.4 million in expenditure on positive activities for young people over the next three years and will affect 19 centres across Worcestershire, including those in Worcester, Droitwich, Malvern and Tenbury.

The proposals mean the Worcester City youth centre could be sold, and the management of the St John’s youth centre transferred to Worcester Community Trust – which runs Warndon youth centre – with the help of a one-off £42,000 grant. Of the centres, nine have potential for alternative use by the county council and there is the possibility that at least four of them could be sold.

There are plans to sell centres in Worcester and Redditch while those in Kidderminster and Tenbury could have their leases terminated.

In some cases, like in Stourport, a school will take over the centre and in other cases like for St John’s youth centre in Worcester, the building could be used to “accommodate other county council functions or sold”.

The plan is for the St John’s centre, home of YouthComm radio, to be leased to Worcester Community Trust with a grant of £42,000 to secure its future.

Tom Wells, a Powick county and district councillor, said a group called Malvern Community Collective (MCC) had stepped in to save Malvern youth centre, creating a business plan and widening access to the centre to other groups.

He said: “They have worked their socks off. This is what David Cameron talks about with the Big Society. I can’t praise the Malvern Community Collective enough.”

However, Coun Wells said he was disappointed the council had fenced off part of the site which had led to concerns it could be sold for housing when it could be leased instead to the MCC at a peppercorn rent.

He said the district council had helped the centre by providing a £30,000 grant over three years but the aim was for it to become self-funding.

Consultation was carried out over July, August and September. The aim is for the council to become a commissioner of youth services (where they fund the service but do not provide it directly).