Plans for Wolverhampton's £6m Youth Zone have been approved - as young people show The Way they want their new facility to look.

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Wolverhampton City Council has now given the green light to the planning application for the state of the art centre.

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At the same time, members of the Youth Zone Development Group have unveiled a colourful brand for the Youth Zone - just days after The Queen's Trust and the St James's Place Foundation donated a total of £1 million towards the project.

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Working with Synaxis, a Wolverhampton based design agency, the young people learned about branding and together decided upon an identity and core values for the facility.

And they agreed to call it The Way, which represented the 5 core values they wanted for their Youth Zone - unique, opportunity, supportive, welcoming and diverse. The Way is a code or shorthand for these values which will be experienced and enjoyed by all young people who use the Youth Zone.

The Way is a charity set up by the city council, The Morgan Foundation and OnSide Youth Zones. It will offer a wide range of activities for young people aged between 8 and 19, or 25 with a disability, including sport, fitness, dance, arts, music, media and self improvement.

Steve Morgan, Chairman of The Morgan Foundation, said: "The young people who are on the Development Group have worked tremendously hard to come up with ideas about how their new youth zone should look and feel.

"The Way is for them, so it's really important that they're taking ownership of it like this, and we're delighted with the brand that they've developed."

The Way 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, due to open in 2015, 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.

Construction work on the new facility is due to get underway next year and Councillor Val Gibson, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "I'm delighted that plans for The Way have now been approved and it's great to see the young people getting so involved in the development of this fantastic new facility. I'm really impressed with the ideas they have come up with.

"The development of The Way shows that, at a time when the council is facing massive budget challenges, we are still determined to work with our partners, such as The Queen's Trust and the St James's Place Foundation, so that we can invest in the regeneration of our city and to provide first class facilities for our young people."

Kathryn Morley, the Chief Executive of OnSide, said: "The Way will always be there for the young people of Wolverhampton, the brand values they have chosen are a credit to their understanding of the role The Way will play in helping all young people of Wolverhampton reach their potential for many years to come."

  • released: Friday 22 November, 2013