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South Bristol’s Youth Zone fully capital funded

13th March 2023 by OnSide

South Bristol’s Youth Zone has been awarded a £6.9million Youth Investment Fund grant to build a new state-of-the-art youth centre. 

This means that the Youth Zone, which will be run by award-winning local youth charity Youth Moves, has secured all of its capital costs and will now focus on fundraising its annual running costs, which will come from private sector and philanthropic contributions. 

Expected to open in 2025, the Youth Zone is proposed to 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. It will work in partnership with the area’s many other youth providers to deliver the best possible service to young people. 

We are delivering South Bristol’s Youth Zone in partnership with Youth Moves and Bristol City Council, which is contributing £4.2million towards the construction costs and £400,000 of its annual £1.3million running costs. The Youth Investment Fund grant will also go towards the Youth Zone’s site preparation and pre-opening costs. 

Once opened, South Bristol’s Youth Zone will be part of our Network of 14 Youth Zones nationwide, which supports 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, combined with support from skilled youth workers.  

In addition to the incredible facilities, trained youth workers and dedicated volunteers will be available seven days a week to offer guidance and support to help South Bristol’s young people to thrive. It will create a number of full and part-time jobs as well as volunteering opportunities.  

South Bristol’s 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.   

Commenting on the funding, Youth Moves CEO Alistair Dale said:

“This is fantastic news for young people in South Bristol. We are really excited to partner with OnSide on the delivery of this incredible Youth Zone and we’re extremely grateful to DCMS for this commitment. Once open, South Bristol’s Youth Zone will give thousands of young people the opportunity to make new friends, discover new passions and be supported by the many dedicated youth workers within the Youth Zone. This funding takes us a huge step closer to delivering this for them. 

“We are very excited by this opportunity coming to South Bristol, an area we have been embedded in as a youth work charity for a long time. We are very familiar with its challenges and see this as central to support our work in bridging the gap for young people in our city. The new Youth Zone will become home to Youth Moves but it will also be a platform for our many other brilliant youth organisations in South Bristol to deliver their services and we are excited to work alongside them. I encourage anyone interested in working together for the benefit of our city’s incredible young people to get in touch. 

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.” 

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

“Having now secured all the capital costs, OnSide, Youth Moves, and our administration have taken another step towards building a brand new, world-class youth facility in south Bristol. The new Youth Zone will ensure young people in the area have access to vital services and support and represents one of the biggest investments in the sector for some time. Investment in families is a key focus for the Mayor and this exciting project was a big part of our manifesto. This is great news for the children and young people of our city and a welcome development for all those involved in bringing the Youth Zone to Bristol.” 

We are currently awaiting the decision of a planning application for the Youth Zone, which was submitted last year. Youth Moves is currently recruiting a Young People’s Development Group which will help make a number of key decisions, including branding, interior design and staff interviews. To get involved with this, email info@youthmoves.org.uk.