Preston Youth Zone to be called ‘Vault’ as city’s young people put spades in the ground

Posted on - 27th June, 2024 - 10:55am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News, Redevelopment
The Youth Zone’s youth board break ground to mark the building phase beginning in Tithebarn Street Pic: Blog Preston

Preston’s new Youth Zone has been given a name and the teenagers driving its development have spoken of their hopes for the long-awaited building.

Some of the youngsters involved in the Youth Zone – which will be known as Vault after more than 2,000 young people across the city voted for their favourite name – were not born when plans began for a dedicated space for young people in the city.

At a ceremony on the Youth Zone site in Tithebarn Street, opposite the Bus Station, the youngsters from the Youth Zone’s youth board used a giant spade to mark the construction phase beginning for the £11m building.

Read more: Preston Youth Zone work unearths old mill site and items dating back 300 years

Dating back to 2010 the Youth Zone has been mooted and planned for a number of sites in the city centre before being scrapped by Lancashire County Council on multiple occasions.

This incarnation, being built by charity OnSide with money primarily allocated from the Towns Fund Deal secured for Preston city centre, is due to open in Autumn 2025.

Once open the Youth Zone is to include a climbing wall, music room, recording studio, gym, health and wellbeing room, performing arts studio, boxing and martial arts gym, a four-court sports hall, 3G pitch, media room, café and more.

Named as Vault the design and brand of the building was put together by the Youth Board – made up of a group of teenagers from all across the city – who steer the direction of the facilities.

Preston Youth Zone CGI
How the Youth Zone is due to look when finished

Blog Preston spoke to Tamara, Kenny, Ahmed and Hollie about the process of coming up with the name, their hopes for the Youth Zone and what they make of how young people are portrayed in the city.

Tamara, 15, from Ashton-on-Ribble

Listen below to what Tamara had to say

Kenny, 19, who was living in Deepdale and Ahmed, 15, from Ingol

Listen below to Kenny’s excitement for the boxing gym and Ahmed on how the name was chosen

Hollie, 16, from Ingol

Listen below to Hollie on what the Youth Zone will mean to young people and her thoughts on the ‘stereotyping’ that happens of young people in the city.

The logo and design for the Youth Zone has been put together in conjunction with the Youth Board by Preston-based design consultant Rachel Simpson.

The Vault logo and design, as modelled by the Youth Board Pic: Rachel Simpson

The Youth Zone will also boost jobs in the city with 20 new full-time roles and at least 30 part-time roles, along with a number of voluntary positions.

Chief executive of the Preston Youth Zone, Tim Jacques, said the building would be worth the wait.

He said: “I feel very proud to be CEO of this brilliant charity, one which will change the lives of so many young people in Preston.

“The Youth Zone will be a place they deserve with incredible facilities and a team of dedicated youth workers offering vital support and guidance. It was great to see our development group unveil our fantastic new brand and I want to thank the 2,000 young people across Preston who took part in the vote.

“We’ve had so many brilliant people back this project but we are still actively fundraising for the remainder of our annual running costs, so we’d appeal to any local businesses who want to support Preston’s young people to get in contact.”

Hear our interview with Tim on the site of the Youth Zone below.

Read more: Significant chunk of money needed to get Preston Youth Zone operating

A long-running advocate and supporter of having the Youth Zone in the city centre is Barton Grange Garden Centre owner Guy Topping.

He carried a giant spade through the city centre to mark the ground-breaking ceremony.

Guy Topping carries the giant spade to the Youth Zone site Pic: Blog Preston

Mr Topping said: “This is a momentous occasion – it’s fantastic to break ground and build this special space for Preston’s young people. It will give them somewhere safe and inspirational to go in their leisure time to try new activities, develop skills and make friends.

“We’ve waited a long time to get to this stage but in many ways this is just the beginning as we take a huge step closer to opening to thousands of young people from across the city. I am so grateful to everyone who has helped us on this journey, turning the dream of a Youth Zone in Preston into a reality.”

Adrian Phillips, Preston City Council’s chief executive added: “The Youth Zone will add to the city’s ongoing physical transformation but more importantly the social regeneration of Preston too.”

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