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Crewe Youth Zone one step closer

22nd April 2022 by OnSide

We’re delighted to announce a new partnership with Crewe Town Board and Cheshire East Council, using our combined experience and skills to dramatically expand the opportunities available to the young people of Crewe through the creation of a brand-new Youth Zone.

Plans for the Youth Zone in the heart of Crewe have been welcomed by the council, and it’s central location reflects the diverse offer of their town centres and the role they play as central and accessible hubs for the local community. Aimed at young people aged between eight and 19, or up to 25 for those with additional needs, it will open 7 days a week and support approximately 4,000 young people. Members will have the opportunity 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 50p per visit and £5 annual membership.

In addition to the advanced 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 up to 70 full and part time jobs and up to 100 volunteering opportunities.

We believe all young people should have the opportunity to discover their passion and their purpose. The new state-of-the-art, multimillion-pound Crewe Youth Zone will be developed through unique partnerships between young people and their communities, local authorities, and private business supporters. Once completed, Crewe Youth Zone will become its own independent charity delivering activities and support to Crewe’s young people.

Crewe Youth Zone will be funded by a combination of funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities via the Crewe Towns Fund Board, subject to government approval, Cheshire East Council (funding agreed at February 2022 Full Council) and private sector donations. The Department for Levelling Up has released upfront development funding for projects, including the Youth Zone, and has enabled work to begin on the design, aiming for submission of a planning application later in 2022 and working towards opening in 2025.

We are seeking the support of local businesses, philanthropists and the local community to get behind the project and together raise the remaining building and running costs to develop the Youth Zone.

Our Chief Executive, Kathryn Morley, said:

“We are extremely grateful to Cheshire East Council and Crewe Town Board for showing its belief in Crewe’s young people and supporting the new Youth Zone. Youth Zones are inspirational places that give young people countless opportunities, from meeting new friends to finding passions and talents. This is the start of an exciting journey and the OnSide team is already hard at work with local partners to turn it into a reality.”

Partnerships are at the heart of the development of every Youth Zone. Crewe Youth Zone will be an asset to the community complimenting other local services that support young people in the area.

Councillor Kathryn Flavell, lead member for children and families at Cheshire East Council said:

“The proposed Youth Zone in Crewe is a much-needed facility for our young people and supports our regeneration plans for the town centre.

“We know that the project was part of the successful Crewe Towns Fund bid which saw the town allocated up to £22.9 million from the government.  Of this, £2.0 million has been identified for the Youth Zone which is a fantastic first step to securing the estimated £8.4 million needed to develop the Youth Zone facility.

“We believe that children and young people are best supported within their local communities, and we welcome this launch for additional funding by our partner OnSide.  We’re working hard to improve social, emotional and mental health and wellbeing services and I believe that by working together, we can provide a sustainable youth service for generations to come.”

Participation and input from local young people will be crucial to deliver a vibrant Youth Zone facility. A Young People’s Development Group will be created, with the group making several key decisions for the Youth Zone, from branding the Youth Zone to interviewing potential staff members.