Building work has begun on Legacy, Onside Youth Zone’s state-of-the-art Croydon Youth Zone on the junction of Whitehorse Road and Boulogne Road.
Inspired Homes, a founder patron of Legacy, were present at the ground-breaking ceremony at the Youth Zone site in Selhurst last week to witness the first sod being cut by a 10-foot spade.
The £6.5 million youth centre will boast a wide array of facilities and activities for young people aged eight to 19 – or up to 25 with additional needs – including sports in the four-court sports hall, a 3G kick pitch, fitness suite and martial arts area as well as providing art, music, dance, drama, cookery and enterprise classes.
Croydon Council is funding £3.25million towards the construction costs with the remainder being sourced by OnSide from a number of external contributors including the Queen’s Trust, the Stone Family Foundation, Fidelity Foundation and UBS, Vistra and the Seroussi Foundation. The Council has also committed to funding £300,000 per year as part of the annual £1million running costs. OnSide are still looking for donations from the private sector so please get in touch with them if you would like to help this worthwhile cause.
Commenting, Youth Zone Chair Nick Sleep said: “Our Youth Zones are magical places. I’d like you to picture this, that in a year’s time we will have a 20,000 ft sq purpose built iconic Youth Zone right where we were standing as we broke down. The climbing wall, the boxing ring, there will be arts, craft, drama, theatre workshops, music. Our volunteers and staff offer coaching and where necessary pastoral care that may not be found easily elsewhere and all this can be accessed by kids for £5 to become a member and then 50p a visit. We are so excited to see this Youth Zone being developed here in Croydon.”
Croydon Council Leader Tony Newman added: “I am really delighted to see this fantastic project becoming a reality. Through Legacy we are delivering a wonderful facility for Croydon’s young people and what is really special is that they have been at the centre of this project throughout, helping to shape what will be on offer. Croydon’s Choose Your Future campaign is all about helping young people to make positive choices and the key to this is making sure that they have access to opportunities that they really want and that can set them on the right path. Legacy will offer so many of our young people, so many opportunities – whether it’s the chance to learn new skills, do something they love, give something back as a volunteer, or even just make new friends. It’s going to make a real difference to their lives and I’m hugely proud to be part of it.”
Recruitment of paid staff and volunteers to assist in the day-to-day running of the Youth Zone will begin later this year.