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South Bristol’s Youth Zone awarded planning permission

14th June 2023 by OnSide

South Bristol’s state-of-the-art Youth Zone moved a huge step closer last night after a planning application was approved by the Council’s Development Control B Committee.

Plans for the Youth Zone were submitted last year. Expected to open in 2025, it will be run by award-winning local youth work charity Youth Moves and will join our Network of 14 Youth Zone charities across the UK.

It will be built close to the roundabout which connects Hengrove Way and Hartcliffe Way and 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. Youth Moves will work in partnership with the area’s many other youth providers to deliver the best possible service to young people.

It’s estimated that 4,000 young people from south Bristol will sign up in the first year of opening and Youth Moves CEO Alistair Dale, who will oversee the Youth Zone’s operations once open, has today spoken of his excitement.

He said:

“This is amazing news and a huge step forward to having an incredible Youth Zone for the young people of south Bristol. Partnering with OnSide to deliver this will hugely enhance what we at Youth Moves are able to offer young people in the area.

“It means we’ll be able to add to our brilliant team of dedicated and talented youth workers who are changing lives every day. Being able to deliver on a much larger scale from a Youth Zone setting, working alongside our local partners, will be a huge benefit to everyone and will mean we can reach so many more young people in the process.”

Earlier this year, we were awarded a Youth Investment Fund grant from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport which secured the remainder of the Youth Zone’s construction costs, which also includes £4.2million from Bristol City Council. The Council will also contribute £400,000 towards the Youth Zone’s annual running costs.

We will also be looking for businesses and local philanthropic community to support the Youth Zone and anyone interested in helping out is encouraged to get in touch.

Aimed at young people aged eight to 19, or up to 25 for those with additional needs, south Bristol’s Youth Zone will open seven days per week. 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 as well as dedicated youth worker support – all for just 50p per visit and £5 annual membership.

One of the Youth Zone’s key features will be the relationships its youth work staff garner with young people to support them. Over the next two years Alistair and the team at Youth Moves will be working to grow the team, providing a range of exciting roles and job opportunities for people to get involved and make a difference to the lives of young people.

Our Chief Executive Jamie Masraff, said:

“Being awarded planning permission is always a huge milestone in a Youth Zone’s development and we are delighted to achieve that on the back of our success with the recent Youth Investment Fund. We are delighted to partner with Youth Moves on this project; it is an amazing charity that will deliver life-changing support and opportunities from the Youth Zone.”

Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor with responsibility for Children’s Services, Education, and Equalities, said:

“This planning permission is another positive step towards the development of our new Youth Zone. It’s great news for the children and young people of Bristol who I know are going to benefit massively by having this brand-new, state-of-the-art youth facility in south Bristol.

“The Mayor and our administration are committed to giving every young person in Bristol the opportunity to thrive, and we will continue to invest in our city’s families and their future. We are looking forward to continuing to work with OnSide and Youth Moves to bring the new Youth Zone to south Bristol, delivering on another manifesto commitment.”

Young people will be involved throughout the development of south Bristol’s Youth Zone with Youth Moves, and a Young People’s Development Group has already been set up. The young people involved are currently working with creative marketing agency Lucent to develop a brand for the Youth Zone.

The group will come up with two brands which will then go out to a public vote to south Bristol’s young people with the winning Youth Zone name and brand revealed later this year. The group will also work on other areas of the Youth Zone’s development and any young person who wants to be involved should email info@youthmoves.org.uk

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