Crewe Youth Zone has been awarded a £6.4million Youth Investment Fund grant to build the new state-of-the-art youth centre.
This means that the Youth Zone, which will be run as a new local charity once opened, has secured all of its building costs and will now focus on fundraising the remainder of its annual running costs, which will largely come from private sector and philanthropic contribution.
Subject to plans being approved, the Youth Zone is expected to open in Spring 2025 and will be built on the Oak Street Car Park to the south of the town centre. It will provide thousands of young people with opportunities to engage in activities and access support from skilled youth workers, helping them to develop their skills and reach their full potential.
We are delivering Crewe Youth Zone in partnership with Cheshire East Council and Crewe Town Board. Funding from the council and Crewe’s allocation from the government’s Towns Fund will also contribute towards construction costs.
The Youth Investment Fund grant will also go towards the Youth Zone’s site preparation and pre-opening costs.
Once opened, Crewe Youth Zone will be an independent charity with a private-sector led board, including local representatives. It will be part of the OnSide Network of 14 Youth Zones nationwide, supporting over 50,000 young people. Youth Zones are open to young people aged between eight and 19 (up to 25 for those with additional needs), seven days a week, for just 50p a visit. Members will have access to an indoor climbing wall, four court sports hall, training kitchen, music room with a recording studio, fully equipped gym, dance and drama studio, 3G kick pitch, arts and crafts room, enterprise and employability suite.
In addition to these incredible facilities, trained youth workers and dedicated volunteers will be available 7 days a week to offer guidance and support to help Crewe’s young people to thrive. It will create a number of full and part-time jobs as well as volunteering opportunities.
Crewe Youth Zone is one of 43 youth services in England to benefit from the first wave of Youth Investment Fund grants, announced by the funder, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the charity Social Investment Business, who is delivering the grant programme in partnership with Key Fund, National Youth Agency and Resonance.
The Youth Investment Fund is part of the Government’s National Youth Guarantee to transform and level up opportunities for young people in England. The Youth Investment Fund, of over £300 million, aims to build, renovate, or extend youth service facilities, providing a minimum of 45,000 additional positive activities for young people between 11 and 18 – in the parts of the country where new spaces and new opportunities are most needed.
Our Chief Executive, Jamie Masraff, said:
“With the happiness and confidence of 16-25 year olds reported to be at its lowest point in 13 years1, young people deserve vital support and today’s funding announcement from DCMS is a wonderful step in the right direction. It shows that there is willingness to support and invest in young people. We are hugely grateful to Government and our supporters for this incredible boost to support young people living in Cheshire East and their futures.”
Deborah Woodcock, executive director of children’s services at Cheshire East Council, said:
“Now, more than ever, we need to support children and young people to have the best start in life. This funding will help the collaboration between Onside, the council and wider partnerships, to provide services that focus on skills, leisure, sport, health and wellbeing and drive aspirations for the future.
Our young people tell us that health and wellbeing is one of their biggest concerns. Reducing health inequalities is also one of this council’s top priorities, so it’s great to see the youth zone project take a huge step forward to helping our young people be happy, healthy, safe and to give them the skills to thrive.
I look forward to following the project as it progresses and seeing the impact this wonderful facility will have on the lives of young people in Crewe and beyond.”
Doug Kinsman, chair of Crewe Town Board, said:
“This funding announcement is a really positive step forward in seeing these plans realised and delivers the balance of funding needed following the allocations by the Town Board and Cheshire East Council.
“The Youth Zone will give young people in the town and the wider borough access to a variety of activities and opportunities that will improve their health and wellbeing and support them into adulthood.
“It will also support the vibrancy of the town centre and provide more reasons for people to visit.”
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said:
“I want every young person to have the opportunity to access the kinds of life-changing activities which expand their horizons and allow them to develop vital life skills.
“The National Youth Guarantee will provide these opportunities and support young people with access to regular club activities, adventures away from home and volunteering opportunities.
“We are supporting this today with an investment to create or renovate spaces for youth clubs and activities to support opportunities for thousands of young people across the country who would otherwise miss out.”
We are awaiting approval on plans for the Youth Zone, if successful, work is due to start on site early 2024. For further updates on progress, visit: www.onsideyouthzones.org/youth-zones/crewe-youth-zone/