Preston City Council has today approved a site near the city centre bus station for the new Youth Zone.Advertisement
Built as part of the £20.9m Towns Fund project, the Preston Youth Zone will see a facility created for young people in Preston aged eight to 19.
The site, off Lord Street, meets locational criteria for successful Youth Zones by providing a prominent but neutral location that is easily accessible by public transport and is an adequate size for the proposed development.
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John Chesworth, Chair of the Preston City Towns Fund Board, said: “The land approval from Preston City Council and continued partnership with OnSide is the crucial next step to creating a much-needed Youth Zone in Preston.
“It is an important project within the Towns Fund Investment Programme.
“It is vital that Preston has the ability to support young people, provide them with a safe space, deliver skills and advice as well as create more jobs and volunteer roles within the city centre.
“We will work closely with OnSide and our partners to ensure this great space is created for Preston.”
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National charity OnSide, which has a network of 14 similar Youth Zones across the UK, has been working with local Preston partners for several years to develop a Youth Zone in Preston.
They successfully submitted a proposal as part of the Preston Towns Fund Bid that was accepted by the UK Government earlier this year.
The Preston Youth Zone will offer young people skills, career and employment advice. It will also provide opportunities to discover new passions, make friends and thrive in an inclusive, welcoming and exciting environment.
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The facilities will include:
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The Youth Zone aims to support around 4,000 young people. It will also create 70 permanent jobs, including 35 full-time equivalent positions.
Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council, said: ‘’The Youth Zone is a high priority for our city. I am proud that the council can step in and provide the land needed in a good location to enable this exciting project to move forward.
“This project will support young people, provide access to positive things to do in their community and will improve their health and wellbeing, drive aspirations for adulthood and support community cohesion and a vibrant Preston city centre.
“While this is an essential next step, we continue to look to Lancashire County Council for much-needed support for the ongoing revenue costs of the Youth Zone.”
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Preston Youth Zone is one of six projects included within the Harris Quarter Towns Fund Investment Programme.
The regeneration programme, which focuses on culture, leisure, residential, infrastructure, community and education through regeneration within the city centre, is part of the Preston City Investment Plan.
While part of the initial funding will come from the Towns Fund, OnSide will fundraise for the remaining building costs and running costs from a range of trusts, grants, private sector and philanthropic contributions.
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Guy Topping, Chair of the Preston Youth Zone Committee, said: “This is a really exciting milestone for Preston Youth Zone.
“We have been passionate about delivering this for several years now. It will be a place that the city’s young people deserve.
“I want to thank all involved with the Towns Fund Bid and at the council who have got us to this stage and urge everyone in Preston to get behind the project.”
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