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Preston Youth Zone city centre plans approved

Posted on - 6th July, 2023 - 5:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Charities, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News, Redevelopment
What the youth zone could look like Pic: Elephant Visual
What the youth zone could look like Pic: Elephant Visual

After more than a decade of back and forth over its potential location and whether it would even happen – Preston will have a Youth Zone.

The state-of-the-art youth centre is to be built on the corner of Crooked Lane and Tithebarn Street in the shadow of the Guild Hall, Bus Station and Town Hall.

Plans from the OnSide youth charity were unanimously passed by Preston City Council’s planning committee.

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The Youth Zone will include a four-court sports hall, rooftop 3G outdoor kick pitch, gym, boxing and martial arts room, a music room with built-in recording studio, arts and crafts area, climbing wall, dance studio, sensory room and a mentoring kitchen.

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

The building will join the existing network of 14 Youth Zone’s across the UK and is £5 for an annual membership for a young person with a 50p charge per visit.

Construction is due to begin imminently on the patch of land next to the former Tithebarn pub and the Youth Zone is expected to open during 2025.

Funding for the building is benefiting from a £6.2m Youth Investment Fund grant.

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Reaction to the Youth Zone decision

Guy Topping, Preston Youth Zone Chair said: “This is an important milestone in the Preston Youth Zone journey and exciting news for young people living in Preston and beyond. Preston Youth Zone is a local, inspirational charity that will provide thousands of young people with access to activities, opportunities, and support from trusted youth workers. So much hard work has gone into getting us to this point and I want to thank everybody who has helped make this dream a reality”.

Councillor David Borrow, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regulation at Preston City Council said: “This is a major step forward for the project and will be a fantastic boost for youth services in the city. There has been nowhere for our young people to go before now and with a wide variety of sports and art activities, educational and skills support on offer, all at low cost, there will be something for everyone.

“Youth Zones in other towns and cities across the country have had a huge positive benefit and we can’t wait for construction to finally get underway. It is testament to the dedication and hard work of all involved who have turned the vision into reality.”

How the Youth Zone could look from Tithebarn Street Pic: Elephant Visual
How the Youth Zone could look from Tithebarn Street Pic: Elephant Visual

John Chesworth, Chair of Preston Towns Fund Board, said: “The Youth Zone will be a fantastic asset for young people in Preston. Not only will it provide a place for young people to go, but it’ll also provide a vital function in providing practical support, advice and guidance to help young people plan for their future.

“Preston Youth Zone is one of six key projects that we are delivering within Harris Quarter, which we are confident will be the catalyst for Preston’s wider renaissance and bring additional investment into the City.”

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Councillor Jennifer Mein, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Preston City Council concluded: “The Youth Zone will play an important role in building community cohesion and providing our young people with access to vital support services that’ll help with mental health and general wellbeing. In addition it’ll also ensure our young people remain fit and healthy. It’ll give them access to a wide range of sporting activities that are shown to help bring people together. It’s impact will be far ranging.”

New proposed site for Preston Youth Zone between Lord Street and Tithebarn Street in Preston city centre Pic: Blog Preston
New proposed site for Preston Youth Zone between Lord Street and Tithebarn Street in Preston city centre Pic: Blog Preston

Nick Temple, CEO for Social Investment Business said: “The Youth Investment Fund is enabling more young people to benefit from the life-changing impact of youth work across England, giving them the best opportunities to thrive. It’s hugely exciting to see the Onside Preston Youth Zone project coming to life, it’s one of the first projects to benefit from the Youth Investment Fund. With planning secured, it means a brand-new youth centre is now in sight. It’s an exciting day for young people across Preston, who can look forward to exciting new opportunities to help expand their horizons, have fun, and develop vital skills for life.”

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

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