07 Dec Residents invited to have their say on Basildon Youth Zone proposals
Basildon residents are being invited to have their say on plans for the borough’s state-of-the-art OnSide Youth Zone.
The £8.4million facility is proposed to be located in the town centre, in the car park opposite Trafford House as part of regeneration plans for Basildon town centre. It will be delivered by the national charity OnSide Youth Zones, which is working in partnership with Basildon Council.
Plans have now been drawn up for the facility, which will offer young people aged 8-19 (and up to 25 for those with additional needs) 20 activities each evening for just 50p. These include:
- 4-court indoor sports hall
- Indoor climbing wall
- Super Fitness Suite, combining state-of-the-art gym equipment with boxing and martial arts facilities
- Performing arts studio
- Music suite with instruments and recording equipment
- Large open plan recreation area
- Project rooms, including arts, crafts, health, wellbeing and fashion
- Film and multi-media facilities
- Teaching/mentoring kitchen
- Café serving hot nutritious meals (costing no more than £1)
- Multi use games area/kick pitch with floodlights
- Break out room to include activities such as employability workshops, general and gender specific health/youth issue topics/projects and youth participation
Ahead of submitting a planning application, OnSide Youth Zones is holding a public consultation on these plans via its website, running from Monday 7th December to 5pm on Friday 11th December. Residents will be able to view the proposals and designs and submit comments on them.
Adam Poyner, Head of Property and Construction at OnSide Youth Zones, said: “We are delighted to unveil these exciting proposals for Basildon’s OnSide Youth Zone. Working alongside HB Architects, who have a proven track record designing our state-of-the-art facilities, we believe this Youth Zone will be something Basildon’s young people deserve and that the town can be proud of. We’d like to invite all Basildon residents to have their say on our plans.”
Leader of Basildon Council, Cllr Gavin Callaghan said: “This Youth Zone will be the best thing to happen to young people in this borough for decades and will change the culture of youth services for good. I would encourage as many people as possible to visit the virtual consultation site and take a look at the proposals and comment.”
Basildon Youth Zone will operate as an independent charity and will be built upon OnSide’s successful Youth Zone model, which has 14 similar centres operating across the country.
It will cost an estimated £1.3million per year to run, of which Basildon Council will contribute £400,000 in addition to £4.1million towards the building costs. Prior to opening, OnSide Youth Zones will fundraise for the first three years from a combination of private sector contributions and accessing charitable trusts and grants.
Chairman of Basildon Council’s Neighbourhoods and Public Spaces Committee, Cllr David Harrison said: “We believe a Youth Zone will have a huge impact on the borough and provide excellent opportunities for our young people that are currently not available. We fully support OnSide in gauging the opinions of the public on this exciting project.”
Local young people will be put at the heart of the project from the start with OnSide setting up a Young People’s Development Group which will make several key decisions for the Youth Zone, from naming the Youth Zone and deciding on its branding to interviewing potential staff members.