WINNIPEG - A non-profit group called Youth For Christ wants to build a $9.3-million youth centre on what’s now an empty lot at the northwest corner of Higgins Avenue and Main Street.

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WINNIPEG - A non-profit group called Youth For Christ wants to build a $9.3-million youth centre on what’s now an empty lot at the northwest corner of Higgins Avenue and Main Street.

The Christian organization, which offers 15 programs in various Winnipeg locations right now, plans to build a 50,000-square foot facility called "Youth Centre of Excellence," which would include a skate park, fitness centre, dance studio, climbing wall and multi-sport gym, as well as a classroom and job training centre.

Youth For Christ has raised $3.1 million toward the project and is seeking more funds from Ottawa. Downtown development agency CentreVenture has agreed to provide a $2.6-million loan.

Today, city council’s executive policy committee voted provide CentreVenture an annual grant of $225,000 to cover the cost of the loan. The money would flow over 15 years from the city’s operating budget, beginning in 2011.

The plan still faces council approval on Feb. 24.