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New Youth Zone facility proposed for Manchester site

A new Youth Zone could be built in Manchester to provide leisure activities and support for children and young people.

The proposed Gorton facility will be considered by Manchester City Council’s executive next week.

Subject to approval from the executive and planning permission being granted, the new Youth Zone would be built on a council-owned site at the junction of Hyde Road and Queensland Road.

Serving young people in central and east Manchester seven days a week, it could create up to 50 local full and part-time jobs plus volunteering opportunities for the community.

Young people around the area would be invited to help shape the development of the facility, which would join the OnSide Youth Zones network. The facility would be the second in Manchester, joining the Factory Youth Zone in Harpurhey (pictured).

Under the proposals, which will be considered during a meeting on 13 December, the council would contribute 20% of the annual running costs of the facility for up to three years from 2020, plus capital support of £1.2 million.

An initial £6m in funding for the project has been provisionally pledged by an individual philanthropist who wishes to support the social development of young people in Manchester.

Land for the development of the facility would be provided by the council for a peppercorn rent, on a long-term lease.

Councillor Luthfur Rahman, executive member for schools, culture and leisure, says: “Building on the success of the Factory Youth Zone, the proposed new Youth Zone for Gorton has the potential to help young people from across central and east Manchester as they develop into adulthood, providing a world-class facility where quality educational and recreational opportunities will be available to them seven days a week.

“Making this investment in the future of our young people will strengthen the regeneration of east Manchester, while providing young Mancunians with new opportunities to express themselves creatively, raise their aspirations and develop their talents.”

Kathryn Morley, chief executive for OnSide Youth Zones, adds: “We’re delighted that these proposals are being considered by Manchester City Council, along with the support already shown by generous philanthropic individuals.

“Our innovative and sustainable financial model has been replicated in many towns and cities across the UK and we hope that permission for the East Manchester Youth Zone will be another successful chapter in supporting young people who deserve access to even more services which encourage and develop employability skills and a healthier, more active lifestyle.”