A STATE-OF-THE-ART youth hub which will be co-funded by Barnsley Council and one of the town’s major employers – to the tune of more than £9m – will finally be built a stone’s throw away from the town centre this year.
The site – which once housed an electricity depot – is between Schwabisch Gmund Way, Harborough Hill Road and Mottram Street.
Dubbed ‘Eastern Gateway’, it has been identified as the council’s next major project after the completion of its nearby Glass Works scheme and will be co-funded by online fashion retailer ASOS – a firm which employs about 3,000 people from its Great Houghton base.
OnSide, a firm behind a series of successful youth zones across the country, will be the provider of the scheme, while a new group – Barnsley Youth Zone Charity – will form to oversee its running.
Barnsley Council will pay £4.5m towards construction costs and ASOS will contribute £1.2m to the project as its first corporate sponsor, with OnSide committing to generating the remaining construction costs.
Kathryn Morley, chief executive of OnSide, said: “The support of the public and private sector are integral to a youth zone’s success. “We are delighted Barnsley Council is supporting the development of Yorkshire’s first OnSide youth zone, alongside the generous support from ASOS as our first corporate partner.
“They both join a growing movement of partners who believe that how we treat the next generation defines who we are as a society. “Their generous commitment and vision will benefit thousands of young people for many years to come.”
Membership for the youth hub – open seven days a week – will be £5 per annum, according to OnSide, and will provide a place with activities in a bid to get youngsters aged between eight and nineteen off the streets and further reduce antisocial behaviour.
Young people will have access to a four-court sports hall, 3G outdoor pitch, gym and boxing and martial arts room for sports, as well as a music room with a built-in recording studio, arts and crafts area, climbing wall, dance studio, sensory room and teaching kitchen. It will create up to 70 full and part-time jobs and up to 100 volunteering opportunities.