101 Youth Project will provide a dedicated place for those aged 13 and over, with the former retail unit re purposed into a vibrant hub for youth activities and services.
The ambitious project has seen a range of teams from across West Lothian Council work in partnership with public and private sector organisations to help deliver the unit, including: The Centre, Livingston; Mitie; MPACT; and NHS Lothian.
Young people have been actively involved in the design of the unit from the outset, helping decide on the facility, design, layout, content as well as potential activities/usage. A Young People's Board is planned to ensure young people's voices continue to be heard and involved in decision-making in the future.
West Lothian Council's Depute Chief Executive, Dr Elaine Cook said: "This is the first time that a project of this nature and magnitude with a specific focus on young people has been developed in West Lothian.
"The unique project involved a range of partners with some services and resources secured through community benefits, so special thanks to The Centre, Livingston, Mitie, MPACT and NHS Lothian for their support in making this happen.
"I'm confident that 101 Youth Project will make a real positive impact on the lives of local young people, as we aim to make sure they have access to the best possible opportunities going forward."
Patrick Robbertze, Centre Director at The Centre, Livingston, said: ''Attending the launch of 101 Youth Project and celebrating the opening of this exciting new hub was a very special moment for us as we've been working closely with West Lothian Council for the last three years to help get it off the ground.
"Providing activities and services for young people and a place for them to connect in the local community is much needed to help support and nurture their ideas, creativity and ambitions.
"We are really looking forward to working closely with everyone involved on various projects going forward and ensuring that everyone who visits 101 Youth Project feels welcomed."
Managed by the council's Community Learning and Development (CLD) Youth Services team, the unit will deliver a wide range of youth work activities and supports, including employability skills, advice, information and guidance, improving health and wellbeing as well as personal and social development opportunities.
NHS Lothian have supported the creation of a Healthy Respect+ room, which will be staffed by nurse practitioners and CLD Youth Services, while The Centre, Livingston made the former retail unit available at a community rate to ensure the project is financially sustainable.
Mitie's project management experience was invaluable in the refit of the premises, consulting with local young people, while MPACT managed the site and carried out the work to transform the unit into the dedicated youth space.
An official launch for the new project is expected to take place in early 2024.