Work is about to begin on Legacy, Croydon’s new £6.5m state-of-the art youth zone offering young people a fantastic range of world-class facilities and activities.
Contractors will arrive on the Whitehorse Road site this month to kick-off the extensive programme of works, including the demolition of the former Whitehorse Youth Centre, which will see the centre open in 2019.
Developed by the charity OnSide with a £3.25m investment from Croydon Council, the youth zone will be open every night, throughout the year, to young people aged between eight and 19, and up to 25 for those with additional needs.
From sports in the four-court sports hall, gym, 3G kick pitch and martial arts room, to music in the state-of-the-art music suite with its own recording studio, the new youth zone will offer something for everyone. This includes art, drama, dance, enterprise and employability opportunities – and hot, nutritious meals for just £1.
Croydon Council has contributed £3.25m of the £6.5m capital costs as well as £300,000 per year towards the annual running costs. OnSide has raised the remaining upfront costs through the generosity of a range of trusts and grants, including funding from the Queen’s Trust and the Stone Family Foundation, and is looking for the support of local businesses and philanthropists who are also committed to Croydon’s young people.
The Youth Zone will open in 2019 with young people paying just £5 for an annual membership and then just 50p per visit.
Young people have played a key role in shaping the facilities and activities that will be on offer at Croydon’s Legacy and those on the steering group are excited that the development will soon be underway.
Coulsdon College student Kadian Foster, 18, said: “It’s very exciting – I can’t wait for young people to use the new youth zone and have a place that they can express themselves – I feel like that’s something that’s been missing in Croydon. I hope the youth zone will give them the opportunity to do whatever they want in terms of arts, sport and all the activities on offer.”
Ben Bracken, 16, youth engager for Crystal Palace Football Club, added: “Legacy will be such a good place for young people to come and be off the streets. There will be stuff happening indoors and out – football, sports, arts – it meets everyone’s needs.”
“We are proud to be investing in this fantastic project and working in partnership with OnSide to deliver this amazing facility for young people in Croydon. Legacy will give young people in Croydon a huge range of sporting and creative opportunities in first class facilities – opportunities that we know that young people in Croydon want.
“Through our Choose Your Future campaign, the council is encouraging and supporting young people to make positive life choices and Legacy is a really important part of this. I’m delighted that the development is moving forward.”
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council
OnSide Youth Zones project director Jamie Masraff said: “We are absolutely delighted to be at the stage now where the dream becomes a reality and we’re extremely excited about getting on site and building this amazing facility for Croydon’s young people.”