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The Queen's Trust and St James' Place Foundation make £1 million investment in city's youth

The Queen's Trust and the St James's Place Foundation have donated £1 million to support the development of a ground breaking Youth Zone in Wolverhampton.

Youth Zone School Street View
Youth Zone School Street view

Youth Zone Worcester Street View
Youth Zone Worcester Street view

The Wolverhampton Youth Zone will open in the second half of 2015 and will support the regeneration of the Westside area of the city.

The centre is designed to be a state of the art, safe and inspirational place for young people in the area to spend their leisure time.

The aim is to help develop confident young people in Wolverhampton by providing affordable access to a wide range of programmes and services including sports, arts and music.

The Wolverhampton facility will follow the ground breaking Youth Zone model pioneered by the OnSide Youth Zones charity, which has so far opened highly successful facilities in Carlisle, Blackburn, Oldham, Manchester and Wigan.

The Queen's Trust and the St James's Place Foundation have donated £500,000 each to the facility which is to be built on Little Brickkiln Street.

Mike Wilson, Chairman of the St James's Place Foundation, said: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with The Queen's Trust and OnSide to ensure the successful opening of the new Youth Zone in Wolverhampton in 2015.

"We are convinced that this new Youth Zone will provide an amazing space for the young people of Wolverhampton and encourage other similar projects to be developed in the future."

Nicola Brentnall, Director of The Queen's Trust, said: "The Queen's Trust exists to enable young people to help others. OnSide Youth Zones provide a great environment where thousands of young people can come together to help each other and others every day.

"We are particularly delighted that our grant has been matched by The St James's Place Foundation - a gift that helps makes our money go so much further".

The centres cost £1 million per annum to run, and rely on a mix of funding including donations from local authorities, business leaders and charitable trusts.

This ensures there are well trained staff and volunteers throughout the building enabling the Youth Zone to deliver 20 activities every session and provide young people with someone to talk to, away from the pressures of school and family.

Young people see it as their club, somewhere they can discover what interests them and socialise with their peers. Youth Zones help raise the aspirations of some of the most deprived communities in Britain.

The building design will reflect an understanding of how young people engage, socialise and participate with strong audio visual connectivity and flexible spaces enabling virtually any activity to take place.

Bill Holroyd CBE, Chairman of OnSide, commented: "The support of The Queen's Trust and St James's Place elevates our charity to a national level and will have a radical effect on our ambitious plans to extend the reach of our Youth Zones project.

"Through their generosity we are able to create a 4 way partnership in Wolverhampton, between the local business community, the council, the young people, the staff and volunteers. This partnership will go on to deliver for their young people for many years to come."

Steve Morgan of the Morgan Foundation chairs the Board and along with Wolverhampton City Council they are the capital sponsors now joined by The Queen's Trust and St James's Place Foundation.

Leader welcomes "tremendous" Youth Zone funding boost

The leader of Wolverhampton City Council today welcomed the "tremendous" funding boost for plans to develop Wolverhampton's Youth Zone.

Councillor Roger Lawrence said: "This is tremendous news for the young people of Wolverhampton and a fantastic endorsement of our plans to develop this Youth Zone.

"We've seen how successful the Youth Zone concept has been in other parts of the country, and are delighted that our young people will soon be able to enjoy the same benefits themselves."

The Youth Zone, being developed by the city council, The Morgan Foundation and the OnSide Youth Zones charity, will be built on land between School Street, Worcester Street and Little Brickkiln Street.

It will feature a 4 court sports hall with facilities for indoor tennis, badminton, football, netball and basketball and a separate climbing wall. There will also be a fitness suite with the latest gym equipment and 2 outdoor multi use games areas.

The £6 million centre will also have an outdoor recreation area, kitchen and café area selling healthy food and drink, a radio booth and multi purpose areas for dance, music, arts and crafts, gaming and DJ-ing, as well as martial arts and boxing facilities.

There will be a Chill Out zone for relaxing, eating, drinking and entertainment and a recreation area with a pool table, small games, table tennis and table football. Meanwhile, quiet rooms will offer mentoring support, counselling, advice and enterprise activities.

Councillor Lawrence added: "This is an important development, not only for the young people of Wolverhampton, but also supporting the regeneration of the Westside area, which is an important gateway into the city."

Construction work is due to get underway next year and the Youth Zone should open its doors for the first time in 2015.

  • released: Monday 18 November, 2013