We’re pleased to share that we have received planning approval for a new Youth Zone in Barnsley. The state-of-the-art youth centre will provide 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.
Expected to open in 2025, the Youth Zone will be located in Barnsley Town Centre on the Eastern Gateway, on Schwabisch Gmund Way, opposite Barnsley Interchange. Barnsley Youth Zone will be the first of its kind in Yorkshire and will be open to young people aged 8-19, and up to 25 for those with additional needs, 7 days a week.
For just £5 annual membership, plus 50p per visit, young people will have access to world class facilities including a four-court sports hall, rooftop 3G outdoor kick pitch, gym and boxing and martial arts room for sports, as well as a music room with a built-in recording studio, arts and crafts area, climbing wall, dance studio, sensory room, and mentoring kitchen. The Youth Zone will deliver skills and employability workshops in a dedicated enterprise and employability suite, as well as a wide range of programmes, services and activities. Hot, nutritious meals will be available for just £1 from the Youth Zone’s café.
In addition to the incredible facilities, trained youth workers and dedicated volunteers will be available 7 days a week to offer guidance and support to help Barnsley’s young people to thrive. It will create up to 70 full and part-time jobs and up to 100 volunteering opportunities.
We are delivering Barnsley Youth Zone in partnership with Barnsley Council, The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation and the local business community, including the town’s largest employer, ASOS. The Youth Zone will join our Network of 14 similar Youth Zones supporting over 50,000 young people with locations in Bolton, Blackburn, Carlisle, Wigan, Manchester, Oldham, Wolverhampton, Wirral, Chorley, Warrington, Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Croydon and East Manchester.
We will develop and oversee the build of the Youth Zone, once open it will be run as an independent, local charity with a private-sector-led board. Ongoing running costs will be funded through a unique partnership between the private sector, Barnsley Council and young people themselves.
Our Chief Executive, Jamie Masraff said:
“This is an important milestone in the Barnsley Youth Zone journey and exciting news for young people living in Barnsley. Youth Zones are inspirational places that give young people support from trusted youth workers, and countless opportunities, from meeting new friends to finding their passions. So much hard work has gone into getting us to this point and I want to thank everybody who has helped make this dream a reality”
Cllr Trevor Cave, Barnsley Council’s Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said:
“I’m delighted we’re able to move forward with On Side and partners in bringing a Youth Zone to Barnsley. Our borough is a place that fosters and grows ambition, enabling everyone to be the best they can be. The Youth Zone will bring outstanding opportunities for our young people to develop their skills, talent and creativity, have fun with friends, and enjoy nutritious affordable food.We’re incredibly proud of our newly redeveloped town centre and the Youth Zone will be an absolutely fantastic addition.”
Local young people will have the opportunity to get involved in helping to shape their new Youth Zone. Working in partnership with the council and existing providers, we will set up a Young People’s Development Group of local young people who will meet regularly to make key decisions for the Youth Zone, including supporting with the design and branding, and interviewing potential staff members.