Warrington Borough Council’s Executive Board is to vote on proposals for a £6m Youth Zone which aims to support thousands of young people across the borough.
The joint venture between the council, national young people’s charity OnSide and Warrington Youth Club will create a purpose-built facility which will raise aspirations, enhance prospects and improve health and wellbeing for young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The new Youth Zone will offer affordable activities in sports, arts, music, employability and mentoring to young people aged from eight to 19, or up to 25 for those with a disability, every day of the week.
The council has identified a site for the facility in the Stadium Quarter next to the UTC which, when completed, will see Warrington Youth Club move to its new Youth Zone home. The proposed location is central and accessible by public transport, enabling it to be reached by large numbers of young people from across the borough.
Stephen Reddy, executive director for families and wellbeing, said: “We’re happy to have secured a suitable space for this project which we hope will bring real benefits to the young people of Warrington.
“Research has shown that creating a Youth Zone is beneficial, not only to the young people themselves, but also the wider community. The Youth Zone will give local young people a supportive and exciting place to help them live happier, healthier and more aspirational lives.”
The funding for the Youth Zone was initially agreed in March 2015 and a £3 million contribution was included within the council’s capital programme.
The £3m investment from the council would be used for capital costs only. This package of support from the council will unlock approximately £3m of private sector and charitable trusts and grants funding.
Andy Gatcliffe, Chair of Warrington Youth Club, said: “This is an exciting step forward in the development of the Club’s future provision for young people. As part of the OnSide network we can provide a purpose-built facility just for young people and enhance our offer by operating seven days a week, enabling us to reach many more young people in need.”