A world-class £8.4m youth zone is set to open in Bury by 2025

An £8.4million ‘world-class’ Youth Zone Center is due to open in Bury or Radcliffe in 2025.

Bury Council is developing a partnership with the charity OnSide to develop a Youth Zone, providing facilities and activities for young people.

Typically, buildings in the youth zone include a large open recreation area, a four-court sports hall, a fitness room with boxing and martial arts facilities, a climbing wall, a dance and performing arts, arts and crafts areas, music, film and multi-media studios and outdoor playgrounds.

The council said the cost of the Youth Zone was estimated at £8.4 million, half funded by the private sector through OnSide, with the remainder funded by a grant or capital contribution from Bury Council.

They said they would seek some of those costs from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Once funding is in place and planning agreed, the Youth Zone is expected to open in April 2025 after a 60-week construction period.

No site has yet been identified, but the council said the new building would most likely be in Bury or Radcliffe town centre.

A report released by Bury Council by Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Skills, Cllr Tamoor Tariq, outlined the reasons for pushing for a youth zone in Bury.

He said: “OnSide Youth Zones is a national charity with a mission to create a network of high quality, affordable youth zones across the country, transforming the lives of young people by giving them somewhere to go, something to to do and someone to talk to. for.

“Council and OnSide are discussing an investment opportunity to develop a youth zone in the borough, Greater Manchester’s sixth.

“OnSide raises funds from the private sector to build Youth Zones in partnership with municipalities in the most economically disadvantaged areas of the country.

“They aim to inspire young people to lead healthier and more positive lives, raising their aspirations so that they grow up to be happy, caring and responsible citizens.”

Typically a 50p charge is made per session, giving youngsters access to over 20 activities each evening.

The nearby youth areas of Wigan, Blackburn and Oldham are no more than a few hundred meters from the central bus stations and most participants walk or take the bus.

The report adds: “The ambition is to build a world-class facility for children and young people.

“The importance of the site does not only affect participation; by everyone knowing where it is, but also makes an important statement to young people that they are valued members of the community.

Cabinet of Council is expected to approve a viability study of the location by OnSide next week at a cost of £23,642.

Following the viability study, another report will be presented to council recommending the most suitable site.

At this stage, a reserve of up to £350,000 will be recommended to fund the design phase until planning permission is awarded.

After that, private sector funding of up to £350,000 raised by OnSide will fund all design work from planning permission, including tender, award and final design.

Kristen T. Prall