A £9m “first-of-its-kind’ youth hub which will be built near the town centre will bring 'outstanding opportunities for Barnsley youngsters'.

Coun Trevor Cave, Barnsley Council’s cabinet spokesperson for children’s services, said: “I’m delighted we’re able to move forward with OnSide and partners in bringing a youth zone to Barnsley.
“Our borough is a place that fosters and grows ambition, enabling everyone to be the best they can be.
“This will bring outstanding opportunities for our young people to develop their skills,  talent  and creativity, have fun with friends, and enjoy nutritious affordable food.
“We’re incredibly proud of our newly-redeveloped town centre and the youth zone will be an absolutely fantastic addition.”
The green light for the facility, off Schwabisch Gmund Way, was given earlier this month and work will begin on its build ahead of a proposed opening in 2025.

Barnsley’s youth zone – which will be run by OnSide – will be the first in Yorkshire and will be open to young people aged between eight and 19, and up to 25 for those with additional needs, seven days a week.

Young people will have access to facilities including a four-court sports hall, a rooftop 3G outdoor kick-pitch, gym, boxing and martial arts room, as well as a music room with a built-in recording studio, arts and crafts area, climbing wall, dance studio, sensory room and mentoring kitchen.

The hub will also deliver skills and employability workshops while local youngsters will help shape the facility’s look and what it offers.
Jamie Masraff, chief executive at OnSide, said: “This is an important milestone in the Barnsley youth zone journey and exciting news for young people living in the town.

“Youth zones are inspirational places that give young people support from trusted youth workers, and countless opportunities, from meeting new friends to finding their passions.

“A key design driver has been creating a distinctive landmark building with an active frontage onto the public facing elevation that acts as a gateway into the town centre.

“In order to try and achieve this, we have proposed a projecting first floor along Schwabisch Gmund Way that overhangs the ground floor.

“The large areas of glazing also allow views deep into the building, which provides an active frontage for pedestrians outside.
“So much hard work has gone into getting us to this point and I want to thank everybody who has helped make this dream a reality.”

It is being delivered by OnSide in partnership with Barnsley Council, the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation and the local business community, including the town’s largest employer, Great Houghton-based ASOS.

It will join a network of 14 similar youth zones in Bolton, Blackburn, Manchester, Wolverhampton, Barnet and Croydon.