Work has started on a £6 million sport centre in Parsloes Park, which will be for the exclusive use of young people in Barking and Dagenham.
London's first-ever designated Youth Zone was launched at a ground-breaking ceremony on 15 January, which was attended by council leader Darren Rodwell, West Ham captain Mark Noble, funders and local schoolchildren.
Opening in 2019, Barking's Future Youth Zone centre will feature a four-court sports hall, martial arts room, artificial grass pitch and facilities for art, drama, music, cooking and enterprise activities.
It will be open to young people aged between eight and 19, and those aged up to 25 with additional needs, costing 50p per visit and £5 for an annual membership.
The Youth Zone will cost £1 million a year to run, with national charity OnSide raising funds from the private sector and philanthropic donations.
The construction of the centre is part-funded by Barking and Dagenham Council, with the Jack Petchey Foundation and the Queen's Trust also contributing £1.5 million each.
Rodwell said: "This is a historic day for the borough and we can see the start of a major new project getting underway.
"I was thrilled to see so many young people in attendance as this is going to transform their lives and make such a big difference in the local area."
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