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Council agrees financial support for Youth Zone in Knowle West

New facility could help support 4,000 extra young people

Pictures courtesy of OnSide

Bristol City Council has agreed financial support for the new South Bristol Youth Zone – proposed to be built in Knowle West.

Councillors approved the full business case for the Youth Zone yesterday (January 24) which will be run by award-winning local youth work charity Youth Moves and developed by national charity OnSide.

The council has committed to contributing half of the building’s construction costs and the creation of an entrance onto the site, which would be close to the roundabout connecting Hengrove Way and Hartcliffe Way.

OnSide submitted a planning application for the Youth Zone last year and is awaiting a final decision.

Youth Moves says the new facility in the area will allow it to recruit more youth workers to enhance its services and work with other organisations for the benefit of young people.

The charity’s partnership with Bristol City Council and OnSide will enable it to support an additional 4,000 young people, aged eight to 19 – or up to 25 for those with additional needs – and will open every night, seven days a week.

The Youth Zone will be based on 14 similar OnSide Youth Zones operating across the country. Open over 40 hours a week, young people will be able to access more than 20 activities every night, ranging from football, boxing and climbing, to creative arts, music, drama and employability training.

To be a member of the Youth Zone, young people will pay £5 annual membership and 50p per visit with fees waved where this is unaffordable.

CEO of Youth Moves, Alistair Dale, said: “We are really excited by the support we are getting for the Youth Zone, from the council, other partners and, of course, from young people in South Bristol.

“We want to ensure young people have the opportunities they deserve and being able to increase the number of youth workers in the city will mean they will also get the level of support they so desperately need.”

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

“…This Cabinet decision is a significant step towards creating a safe and inclusive place for young people in Bristol that they deserve. The Youth Zone will bring ambition and regeneration through significant investment to the south of the city and will offer world-class facilities, engaging activities and practical support for local children and families. We’re looking forward to working with partners to make this vision a reality.”

Bristol City Council will also contribute £400,000 towards the Youth Zone’s annual £1.4million running costs.

Youth Moves and OnSide are looking for the support of local businesses, philanthropists and the local community to get behind the new Youth Zone and together to raise the remaining costs.

Youth Moves is currently forming a Young People’s Development Group, a group of local young people which will be involved in key decisions for the Youth Zone, from its branding to staff recruitment. For more information email info@youthmoves.org.uk.

To read a blog on the Youth Zone from youth worker Cody Vile, visit: https://thebristolmayor.com/2023/01/25/south-bristols-new-world-class-youth-zone/.