Have your say on proposals for new South Bristol Youth Zone

Public consultation runs until 2 January

Resident are being asked to have their say on plans for an £8.4m Youth Zone in South Bristol – with the proposed site in Knowle West.

The public consultation launched yesterday (16 November) and will run until 2 January 2022 to give citizens the chance to shape the project and put forward their views – including on the planned location behind Inns Court, next to Hengrove Way roundabout.

Delivered by national charity OnSide – Youth Zones are a network of “affordable, high quality spaces with world class facilities.”

They are designed for children and young people aged eight to 19 – or up to 25 for those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The South Bristol Youth Zone will be run in partnership with local charity Youth Moves, based at The Park, and Bristol City Council.

Young people taking part in the Break Free Holiday programme run by charity Youth Moves at The Park – which will take on the operation of the South Bristol Youth Zone. Image Studio Duo.

There are currently 14 Youth Zones across the UK which are open seven days a week – offering 20 activities at every session.

Facilities include a four-court sports hall, outdoor pitch, gym and boxing as well as a martial arts room, music room with built-in recording studio and an arts and crafts area.

The Youth Zones are also equipped with a teaching kitchen, climbing wall and dance studio – and staff offer careers advice and mental health support.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Our vision is for the South Bristol Youth Zone to deliver a safe space where our children and young people can go to meet their friends, socialise with others from across the city and be mentored by trained youth workers in a safe and welcoming space.

“The proposed site behind Inns Court and by Hengrove Way roundabout was selected as the most feasible location, which best supports the aims of the Youth Zone. Sitting on the boundaries of four South Bristol wards – Filwood, Hartcliffe and Withywood, Hengrove and Whitchurch Park and Bishopsworth – means the site is neutral, accessible and a welcoming location for all surrounding communities.”

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet lead for Education, Children’s Services and Equalities, Councillor Asher Craig, said this was “an exciting development for the children and young people of Bristol.”

She said: “The aim is to help young people grow in confidence, support their aspirations, and foster a sense of community belonging. We want this to be a space to build community relationships and to bring children and young people together who may not usually meet.

“The views and opinions of local residents are hugely important to the success of this project, especially those of children and young people who will be using the facility. We value your opinion and will listen to what you have to say.”

The consultation also offers an opportunity for the children and young people to join the Young People’s Development Group which will help make several key decisions about the Youth Zone – including its name and design.

OnSide Chief Operating Officer Jamie Masraff said they were “really excited” about their plans for the Youth Zone in South Bristol.

He added: “We’d encourage all residents to take part in the council’s consultation and have their say on shaping the future for the city’s young people.”

The consultation will be open until Sunday 2 January. To find out more and give your views visit the Youth Zone consultation page.

You can request a paper copy, alternative format or translated version of the survey by contacting the council via email at: jointcommissioning.children@bristol.gov.uk

OnSide is also running a consultation around the designs from 6 – 12 December at www.onsideyouthzones.org/south-bristol-planning-consultation 

Public information events held by OnSide will take place on 6 December at Inns Court Community Centre from 3-8pm and 7 December at The Park in Daventry Road from 10am – 5pm.

The responses from the consultation, the pre-planning application consultation  and technical work will be included in a Full Business Case in late 2021/early 2022.

A final decision on the Youth Zone will be made by the Mayor and Cabinet in spring 2022 once they have considered the Full Business Case.