Bristol City Council cabinet members last night committed their support to the development of a Youth Zone in the south of the city.
Councillors approved the full business case for the Youth Zone, which will be run by award-winning local youth work charity Youth Moves and developed by national charity OnSide. The Youth Zone will enable Youth Moves to recruit more youth workers to enhance its already impressive range of services and work together with other organisations for the benefit of young people.
The approval confirms the Council’s previous commitment to contributing half of the new building’s construction costs and the creation of an entrance onto the site, which is proposed to be close to the roundabout which connects Hengrove Way and Hartcliffe Way. OnSide submitted a planning application for the Youth Zone last year and is awaiting a final decision.
Youth Moves’ partnership with Bristol City Council and OnSide will enable the charity to support an additional 4,000 young people, aged eight to 19 or up to 25 for those with additional needs and will open every night, seven days a week. To be a member of the Youth Zone, young people will pay £5 annual membership and 50p per visit with fees waved where this is unaffordable. Partnerships will be at the heart of south Bristol Youth Zone with Youth Moves committed to working alongside other youth organisations to deliver a rich and diverse range of activities for young people, as well as vital support.
The Youth Zone will be based on 14 similar OnSide Youth Zones operating across the country – this will be an incredible new space for south Bristol filled with energy, inspiration, and highly-skilled youth workers who truly believe in young people. Open over 40 hours a week, young people will be able to access over 20 activities every night, ranging from sports such as football, boxing and climbing, to creative arts, music, drama and employability training – all for just £5 annual membership and 50p per visit.
Alistair Dale, CEO of Youth Moves, said: “We are really excited by the support we are getting for the Youth Zone, from the Council, other partners and, of course, from young people in South Bristol. We want to ensure young people have the opportunities they deserve and being able to increase the number of youth workers in the city will mean they will also get the level of support they so desperately need.”
OnSide Chief Executive Jamie Masraff added: “Being able to work alongside Youth Moves to develop a Youth Zone for South Bristol’s young people is really exciting. It is such a fantastic charity and we believe that a Youth Zone will enable its brilliant team to really increase what it offers to young people. Having the Council finalise its commitment is a huge step forward, with the next being the decision on our planning application.”
Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor with responsibility for Children’s Services, Education and Equalities, said: “We are committed to making Bristol a city where every child belongs and gets the best start in life, whatever circumstances they were born into. This is in line with the values of our Belonging Strategy and as such, young people will play an integral part in both the design and development of the Youth Zone – its name, branding, interior design and recruitment of staff. After all, it is their space.
“This Cabinet decision is a significant step towards creating a safe and inclusive place for young people in Bristol that they deserve. The Youth Zone will bring ambition and regeneration through significant investment to the south of the city and will offer world-class facilities, engaging activities and practical support for local children and families. We’re looking forward to working with partners to make this vision a reality.”
Bristol City Council will also contribute £400,000 towards the Youth Zone’s annual £1.4million running costs. Youth Moves and OnSide are looking for the support of local businesses, philanthropists and the local community to get behind the new Youth Zone and together to raise the remaining costs to give thousands of young people the chance to discover what they’ve got and where it could take them.
Youth Moves is currently forming a Young People’s Development Group, a group of local young people which will be involved in key decisions for the Youth Zone, from its branding to interviewing potential staff members. For more information about this, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read a blog on the Youth Zone from youth worker Cody Vile, click here: https://thebristolmayor.com/2023/01/25/south-bristols-new-world-class-youth-zone/.