An anonymous private donation of £1m, plus another £1m from the Queen’s Trust, means Croydon’s soon-to-be-built youth centre, the Legacy Youth Zone has met its £6m capital fundraising target.
The project, which will be run by youth charity, OnSide, will use the money to construct the centre.
The council put in an initial £3.25m to support the construction costs and The Stone Family Foundation and The Fidelity Foundation subsequently made contributions of £0.5m and £0.25m each.
“It’s fantastic news that OnSide have been able to raise such a large amount of money in such a short space of time. I’d like to personally thank all those people and organisations who have put faith in what I know will be a brilliant project. Our young people deserve the best possible facilities, and that is what the Legacy Youth Zone will provide.”
Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning
An additional £300k per year has also been committed by the council for the first three years to cover part of the running costs. OnSide have already raised half of the estimated £700k they will need to make up the remainder.
OnSide’s project director Dr Mark Ward, said: “We’re delighted with the fantastic progress we’ve made on Croydon’s Legacy Youth Zone. I’d like to say a huge thank-you to all those partners, funders and supporters, who have helped get us to this position.
“This is just the beginning of our journey as we now continue our revenue campaign and move towards construction of Legacy Youth Zone. The new centre will provide Croydon’s young people with a safe and inspiring place to spend their leisure time and compliment the great youth provision already on offer across the borough.”
A group of young local people were recruited by OnSide to help with developing plans, and they have also been busy encouraging sponsors and spreading the word across the borough. They meet every fortnight and also take part in the ‘Ambassadors for London’ group, which meets weekly at City Hall.
The group will be making a presentation to Croydon’s next cabinet meeting (Monday 19 June) to showcase their achievements.
The centre will be based in a modern building in Whitehorse Road, one of a network of 14 Youth Zones run by OnSide around the UK which provide a wide range of affordable activities for young people.
A full planning application is expected to be submitted this summer to allow the centre to be opened in autumn 2018.