The establishment of the Tuaran Social Economy Centre (Pesat) will benefit not only youths in the district but also in the State, said Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
Hajiji said the first such centre in Sabah is a good start to boost youth progress as Pesat will be an avenue for local youths to further develop their businesses, as well as to socialise.
Pesat was established as part of the 1Malaysia Youth City (1MYC) project where the district was chosen as the third site for the programme after Tanjung Malim, Perak and Lundu, Sarawak.
"Nearly RM10 million has been allocated for all 1MYC projects in the country," he said at the launching of Pesat, here, Monday.
"The project is one of the efforts by the government so that youths remain to be part of the nation's mainstream development.
"As such, I hope the Federal Government through the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry will continue to channel funds for Tuaran 1MYC so that the aim to turn Tuaran into a Youth City will be achieved."
The establishment of Pesat involved the improvement and renovation of four units of houses in Kent's Teachers Training College.
"This is the first building renovation project by the State Urban and Regional Planning Department through the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS).
"Through the NBOS programme, it was evident that the department is able to plan and implement development projects well," he said.
Hajiji, who is also Sulaman assemblyman, said currently, some 20 Tuaran-based youth associations have been selected to conduct their activities in Pesat.
"I hope these youth associations will maximise the usage of the space and facility provided in the centre, as well as ensuring that they are well taken care of.
"The four units of building will be handed over to Tuaran District Council while the State Urban and Regional Planning will continue to monitor its usage as well as the programmes conducted here."
He also thanked the Federal and State Youth and Sports Ministries for choosing the district as a hub for youth programmes all year long under the Tuaran 1MYC programme.
"As such I hope more youth programmes and activities will be held in Tuaran, especially in Pesat.
"I believe that Pesat will contribute much to youth development in Tuaran and I hope every effort to bring a holistic progress to the youths can be continued under the Tuaran 1MYC programme," he said.
As a pioneer project in Sabah, Hajiji hoped Pesat will become a proud landmark for the district as well as the State. Also present were Science, Technology and Innovation Minister cum Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, and District Officer Mohd Sofian Alfian Nair.