London’s newest Youth Zone opened this weekend with thousands of members already signed up and hundreds heading down to have a first look at what’s on offer.
Croydon’s new £6.5m Legacy Youth Zone in Whitehorse Road offers young people aged between eight and 19, or 25 for those with additional needs, the chance to enjoy more than 20 different activities.
The young-people had the chance to try out the indoor climbing wall, fully equipped gym, music room with recording studio, training kitchen and more on Saturday 7 September.
Croydon is home to more young people than any other London borough – 93,000 under 18s – and the council has worked alongside national charity OnSide Youth Zones to create a safe and inspiring place for them to enjoy.
The initial £6.5million building costs have been joint funded by Croydon Council contributing £3.25million with the remainder sourced by OnSide from a number of founder patrons including the Queen’s Trust, the Stone Family Foundation and The Seroussi Foundation via UBS Optimus Foundation.
The Youth Zone’s annual running costs are supported by many founder patrons – with Croydon Council contributing £300,000 and a group of businesses and philanthropists who have pledged more than £1m per year.
More than two thousand young people have already registered to become members of the Youth Zone following a string of successful VIP events.
“We have 93,000 under 18s in our borough – more young people than anywhere in else in London – and we promised them we would be ambitious for them.
“We are proud to have invested in this fantastic facility, and together with our partners, to create a true Legacy for young people in Croydon.”
Councillor Tony Newman, Leader of Croydon Council
“Croydon’s young people have limitless potential and the new Legacy Youth Zone will help them unlock this.
“By investing in this stunning new Youth Zone, and working with OnSide and all the young people who have worked so hard to make this happen, we are helping them to reach their full potential, by giving them access to new opportunities, new experiences, and a truly amazing place to have fun, make friends.
“Together we are creating a true Legacy for young people in Croydon.”
Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning
Kayla Pitter-Aryeetey, a member of the Legacy Young People’s Development Group, said: “There’s so much to do including go in the music studio, dance studio, and more. My favourite bit is the gym but there are so many things to do so come along and have a look.”
Barnabas Shelbourne, Chief Executive at Legacy Youth Zone said: “Legacy Youth Zone’s official opening day was an incredible day enjoyed by young people, families and the wider community.
“Now open, Legacy belongs to young people, it is a place where they can discover their talent, develop their skills and raise their aspirations.
“I want to say a huge thank-you to all of Legacy’s Capital Funders and Founder Patrons for turning this dream into a reality, giving young people in Croydon somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to.”