Government announces money for new youth zone

By Neil Puffett

| 16 August 2019

A new youth zone will be constructed in Grimsby as part of government efforts to regenerate the town, it has been announced.

OnSide has already established 12 youth zones across England with more in the pipeline. Picture: OnSide

The government has said a further £4m will be provided as part of its "Town Deal", taking the total investment in the town to £88m.

The extra money will allow North East Lincolnshire Council to work with national charity OnSide to develop a youth zone in Grimsby town centre.

Cabinet Office minister Jake Berry, who has responsibility for the government's "Northern Powerhouse" initiative, said: "The investment we're making through the UK's first Town Deal will help drive forward regeneration, create new opportunities for residents, young and old, and ensure the future for Grimsby is a bright and prosperous one.

"This regeneration strategy builds on our work across the Northern Powerhouse and is an essential part of our modern Industrial Strategy, creating jobs and training opportunities, while supporting businesses across the North and the rest of the UK."

A total of 12 youth zones have been established across the country in recent years, with a number of other projects at various stages of the planning process.

The cost of setting up youth zones is typically split between the local authority, and partners from the private or charitable sectors. It is the first time that money from central government has been specifically set aside for the purpose.

They are designed to be state-of-the-art venues offering activities in sports, arts, music, employability and mentoring for young people aged eight to 19, or up to 25 for those with a disability.

Tom Shutes, of Clato Legacy Ltd, one of the private sector partners involved with the regerneration efforts, said: "My work with Grimsby is founded in the strong belief that there are three key elements to successful urban regeneration: young people - creating a positive, energetic environment that will make the youth not only stay in the area, but give them a sense that they can evolve here and contribute to their area's ongoing development; skills and training; and culture and leisure.

"The next phase of our development plans will bring Grimsby's heritage buildings back to life with exciting, new public uses to engage locals and visitors, the young and old; and crucially skills and training - let's make Grimsby a centre of excellence where there are real opportunities for the future."

Onside has previously said it hopes to create 100 youth zones across England within a generation.

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