Work to begin on a new £6 million youth zone in Croydon


A visual design of how Legacy Youth Zone will look. Pic: OnSide

Croydon’s new youth zone will be built on the site of Whitehorse Youth Centre to provide state-of-the-art facilities for the borough’s young people.

The two-story centre will offer over 20 different activities for 8-19 year olds seven days a week, ranging from indoor rock climbing to film and music production.

A £3.25 million investment from Croydon Council has helped to secure the development. The remaining £2.75 million has been raised from other organisations with help from the charity OnSide, developers of the new Legacy Youth Zone.

“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” said Jamie Masraff, OnSide Youth Zone’s project director.

Construction is planned to begin with the demolition of Whitehorse Youth Centre within the next week, and Legacy will be ready for opening in April 2019, according to a report prepared for the council’s cabinet meeting on Monday (February 26).

The report states “significant progress” has been made on the project since planning permission was granted in September 2017. Despite development costs rising above expected figures, OnSide is making progress to raise the remaining revenue.

“Legacy will give young people in Croydon a huge range of sporting and creative opportunities in first class facilities” said Tony Newman, leader of the council.

Facilities include a four-court sports hall, fitness centre, dance and drama specialist studio, and a music room available at an annual membership of £5 or 50p per visit.

A visual design of how the centre will look. Pic: OnSide

Croydon Council is committed to work in partnership with OnSide to develop a youth zone that will see an estimated 1,500 young people attend each week. The scheme will also create up to 15 full time and 35 part-time jobs.

OnSide is one of three chosen charities for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, a scheme launched to transform the lives of one million Londoners. Onside’s work with Legacy Youth Zone aims to provide a safe environment where Croydon’s young people can enjoy themselves and achieve their aspirations.

The cabinet meeting report states how Legacy will “make a positive contribution to the council’s longer-term ambition to refurbish and re-vitalise the wider area, and to improving community cohesion”.


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