Croydon’s new state-of-the-art £6 million OnSide Youth Zone came a step closer this week when the planning application was approved by the council.
Once completed the Youth Zone will mean the young people of the borough will be able to access 20 exciting activities at a brand new centre which will be located on the junction of Whitehorse Road and Boulogne Road. Croydon Youth Zone, which was named Legacy following a public vote by 3,000 young people, will open every night of the week. It is for anyone aged between eight and 19, or up to 25 for those with additional needs. It is being developed by the national charity OnSide with Croydon Council contributing £3.25 million towards the construction costs and £300,000 of the annual £1 million revenue budget. Other contributors to the capital funding include The Queen’s Trust (£1 million), The Stone Family Foundation (£500,000) and The Fidelity UK Foundation (£250,000).
Dr Mark Ward, OnSide’s Project Director, said: “Gaining planning consent in Croydon is really exciting for everybody involved, especially the young people of the area. Youth Zones have a remarkable track record of changing the lives of so many young people and we can’t wait for that offer to extend to Croydon. Our next step is to get on the site and get building this fantastic facility.”
Legacy will be one of London’s first Youth Zones and joins a network across the North West and the Midlands which currently has over 30,000 members. Sports facilities will include an outdoor 3G kick pitch, an indoor four-court sports hall, and a fully equipped gymnasium and fitness suite. The centre will also have a music room, and an arts, crafts and media room, as well as an enterprise and employability suite, group project rooms, and a recreation area with games, pool tables and sofas.
Councillor Alisa Flemming, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Learning, said: “It’s great that the project can now go full steam ahead with the construction phase that the council is investing millions of pounds into. I can’t wait to see our new Youth Zone open because I know how much our young people are looking forward to taking advantage of the amazing facilities it will have on offer.”