PLANS for a youth café in the centre of Yate have been signed on the dotted line under a joint agreement between Yate Town Council and South Gloucestershire Council.

The authorities are splitting the £1.3million costs of the landmark building, next to Yate Leisure Centre, and will share ownership of the café.

Town councillors unanimously agreed to fund their half of the project by loaning the money over 20 years.

It means Yate taxpayers will pay £5.30 per household extra a year in their council precept.

Cllr Chris Willmore, who has been pushing for the café for the past decade, said: "This is the biggest decision this council has ever taken. It is bigger than buying Poole Court.

"It will provide something that is unique, an informal place where young people can hang out.

"We could have built a youth club 10 years ago but that is not what young people wanted and it has taken us this long to get there."

The café will open seven days a week; Monday to Thursdays from 4pm until 10pm, Fridays from 4pm until 11pm, Saturdays from 11am until 11pm and Sundays from 12noon until 9pm. It will also open during the school holidays.

There will be a seating area within the café as well as DJ decks for open mic nights and musicians to showcase their talents.

The café will be run by professional caterers, rather than youth workers, and will employ some young people.

Cllr Tony Davis, who first came up with the idea for a youth café based on his experiences of a similar place in his home town of Yeovil in Somerset, said: "When we first opened the skate park at Peg Hill there was a 33 percent reduction in crime. I think this will build on that."

South Gloucestershire Council will open a ‘hub’ providing young people with access to information about health, careers and support services within the building. There will also be office space available upstairs.

Further consultation on the design of the café and the way it is run will be held in the first two weeks of September. A drop-in session for the public will take place at Yate Leisure Centre on Monday, September 7 (2-8.30pm).

A full planning application will then be submitted to South Gloucestershire Council and the café is expected to open in the spring of 2011.