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Preston Youth Zone awarded £6.2m Youth Investment Fund grant

Posted on - 29th March, 2023 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Kid's stuff, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News, Recreation, Redevelopment
What the youth zone could look like Pic: Elephant Visual
What the youth zone could look like Pic: Elephant Visual

Preston Youth Zone has been awarded a £6.2 million Youth Investment Fund grant to build the new state-of-the-art facility.  

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This means that the Youth Zone, which will be run as a new local charity once opened, has secured all of its building costs and will now focus on fundraising the remainder of its annual running costs, which will come from private sector and philanthropic contributions.  

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Subject to plans being approved, the Youth Zone is expected to open in late 2024 and will be built on the corner of Crooked Lane and Tithebarn Street, directly opposite the Bus Station. It will provide thousands of young people with opportunities to engage in activities and access support from skilled youth workers, helping them to develop their skills and reach their full potential. 

Read more: Plans for Preston Youth Zone show vast range of recreation and support facilities

Preston Youth Zone is being delivered by national charity OnSide, in partnership with Preston City Council and the Towns Fund who will be contributing towards building and running costs. The Youth Investment Fund grant will also go towards the Youth Zone’s site preparation and pre-opening costs.

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Preston Youth Zone is one of 43 youth services in England to benefit from the first wave of Youth Investment Fund grants, announced by the funder, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the charity Social Investment Business.

The Youth Investment Fund is part of the Government’s National Youth Guarantee to transform and level up opportunities for young people in England. The Youth Investment Fund, of over £300 million, aims to build, renovate, or extend youth service facilities, providing a minimum of 45,000 additional positive activities for young people between 11 and 18 – in the parts of the country where new spaces and new opportunities are most needed.  

Planned design for inside the Youth Zone Pic: Elephant Visual
Planned design for inside the Youth Zone Pic: Elephant Visual

Guy Topping, Chair of Preston Youth Zone, said: “This is a huge deal for Preston Youth Zone, the partnership behind the project and Preston’s young people, as we now have all of the funds to cover the building costs and can turn our attention to fundraising the remainder of the running costs.

“This major investment will provide young people with incredible opportunities to find their voice, increase their confidence and gain new skills.

“I want to thank OnSide for their continued support and the DCMS for showing their belief in the Youth Zone and Preston’s young people.”

Adrian Phillips, Chief Executive of Preston City Council said: “It has been an ambition of the city to see a Youth Zone in Preston for over 10 years, in various different guises, and so we are delighted to finally see the funding to build the scheme secured and this significant project move forward to the key stage of development.

“The project will make a big difference to the youth provision in the city and fill a big gap that has been missing for a long time, as a result of austerity measures and we are delighted to offer our support.

“The purpose-built, modern facility will give our young people somewhere safe to go and have fun, learn new skills, access help with jobs, training and employment and make new friends.” 

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

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