PLANS for a multi-million pound youth hub for Barnsley’s youngsters has been given a huge boost by a local family firm.
Cawthorne-based Naylor Industries, dating back to 1890, has become a financial backer for the project.
A manufacturer of clay drainage pipes which diversified to grow into a global provider of plastic and concrete products, the company now employs about 400 people.
Chief executive Edward Naylor has signed up to become a capital supporter of Barnsley Youth Zone, which will be run by OnSide and will be built on the site of a former electricity depot between Schwabisch Gmund Way, Harborough Hill Road and Mottram Street.
It will be open seven days a week, with activities on offer for youngsters aged eight to 19 and up to 25 for people with additional needs.
The council has already committed to contribute almost £5m towards the £9m scheme, with Naylor Industries and Great Houghton-based online fashion giant ASOS being named as other financial backers.
Naylor’s contribution to building materials means that all of the building costs for the project have now been raised.
Work is set to start on site in the spring and the venue is due to open in 2025, it was confirmed this week.
Mr Naylor said: “We think this is a fantastic initiative and see the youth zone as having an important role to play in terms of helping the young people of Barnsley fulfil their potential.
“Its facilities will include an indoor climbing wall, a four-court sports hall, training kitchen, music room with a recording studio, fully equipped gym, dance and drama studio, 3G kick pitch, arts and crafts room, and an enterprise and employability suite.”
OnSide expect the facility to be open between 9am and 10pm on weekends and school holidays, and between 4pm and 10pm during term time.
It will join a network of 14 similar youth zones in Bolton, Blackburn, Manchester, Wolverhampton, Barnet and Croydon.
The building will front Schwabisch Gmund Way, measuring approximately 80.5 metres in length by 31 metres in width, with a glass frontage.
OnSide chief executive Jamie Masraff added: “Barnsley Youth Zone will provide the very best facilities for local opportunities – it will be the place that the town’s young people deserve and the support of our local businesses is essential to its success.
“This is an important milestone in the 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.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to Naylor for their generous support and for investing in the next generation of local young people.”