Youth zone build reaches milestone

By Natalie Vincent - Thu 10 May 2018, 3:50 pm

Construction on London's first youth-oriented sports centre moved a step forward with the completion of the Barking and Dagenham's OnSide Youth Zone building's steel frame at the end of April.

Work began on the facility, named Future by local young people, in January 2018 and continued despite wintry conditions in early spring. The development will see floors, staircases and roofing fitted over the next few weeks.

Future Youth Zone is being developed by the charity OnSide, with the building's £6.5 million capital funding being supplied by Barking and Dagenham Council, the Queen's Trust and the Jack Petchey Foundation.

The centre will provide around 20 different activities every night from sports in the four-court sports hall, gym, martial arts room and on the 3G kick pitch, to arts, music, dance, cookery, enterprise and employability opportunities.

Youth Zone chief executive Gavin Evans said: "Completion of the steel frame is a significant milestone in the build programme and it is great to see construction taking shape so quickly.

"We are now pushing ahead with recruitment plans for our senior roles within Future's team and adverts will be on our website and in the local press in the next two weeks."

Due to open next year, young people in the borough aged between eight and 19 years old – and up to 25 with additional needs – will pay just £5 for an annual membership and then 50p each time they visit.

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