MORE cash has been signed off by Barnsley Council in order to create a multi-million pound youth centre on the outskirts of the town centre.

The project, which is set to cost an estimated £9.2m, will be built on the site of a former electricity depot between Schwabisch Gmund Way, Harborough Hill Road and Mottram Street.

Set to be called Barnsley Youth Zone, it will be run as an independent charity by operator OnSide and will open seven days a week, with activities on offer for young people aged eight to 19 and up to 25 for people with additional needs.

The council has already committed to contribute £4.5m towards construction costs and approved a further £318,000 at a behind-closed-doors meeting.

Coun Robin Franklin, cabinet spokesperson for regeneration and culture, said: “Youth zones are hugely aspirational and ambitious schemes that really do sit outside the norm in terms of scale for the youth sector.

“They offer opportunities for social interaction, personal development and informal education to help raise aspirations and improve the life prospects of young people and are very accessible and open to all.

“This will provide a benefit to young people that cannot be underestimated.

“It’s an opportunity for the council to invest in a state-of-the-art, world-class youth facility that will demonstrate a commitment to the health, wellbeing and development of all the existing and future generations of young people in the borough, while also complementing the wider regeneration of the town centre.”

A 125-year lease has been signed for the site, which will house a four-court sports hall, rooftop 3G outdoor kick-pitch, gym, boxing and martial arts room, a recording studio, dance studio, sensory room and mentoring kitchen.

A spokesperson from OnSide added: “The state-of-the-art youth centre will provide young people with opportunities to engage in activities and access support from skilled youth workers, helping them to develop their skills and reach their full potential.

“Expected to open in 2025, it will be the first of its kind in Yorkshire.

In addition to the incredible facilities, trained youth workers and dedicated volunteers will be available 7 days a week to offer guidance and support to help Barnsley’s young people to thrive. It will create up to 70 full and part-time jobs and up to 100 volunteering opportunities. 

“We are delivering Barnsley Youth Zone in partnership with Barnsley Council, The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation and the local business community, including the town’s largest employer, ASOS.

“It will join our network of 14 similar zones supporting over 50,000 young people with locations in Bolton, Blackburn, Carlisle, Wigan, Manchester, Oldham, Wolverhampton, Wirral, Chorley, Warrington, Barking, Dagenham, Barnet and Croydon.”