50 days to go!

The countdown is on to the grand opening of Warrington’s state-of-the-art OnSide Youth Zone – with just 50 days to go!

The charity has today announced it will officially open its doors on Saturday 2nd July with a huge party planned and the whole town invited.

Construction on the £6.9million centre was completed in the Spring and it has already begun welcoming young people inside for taster sessions and its first half-term Holiday Club.

The Youth Zone will become home to the historic Warrington Youth Club and its July launch will trigger the start of its seven-day-a-week, fully inclusive, open access sessions.

To celebrate the countdown, the Youth Zone has also launched its online membership. It will cost just £5 per year (becoming active on 2nd July) to sign up and then 50p each visit.

Young people, aged between seven and 19 and up to 25 for those with additional needs, will have to access its wide range of state-of-the-art facilities and incredible activities, including a music room with a built in recording studio, arts and crafts area, climbing wall, rooftop kick pitch, sensory room, four-court sports hall, performing arts studio, health and well-being room, fitness suite and boxing and martial arts gym.

Young people will also be able to engage with different projects such as the Buddy Up programme, which enjoyed great success at Warrington Youth Club, Enterprise and Employability support and much more.

Hot meals will be served for £1 and young people will also be able to learn how to cook various dishes themselves in the Youth Zone’s training kitchen.

Warrington Youth Zone Chief Executive Dave McNicholl said: “We are delighted to announce our official opening date and we can’t wait to welcome everyone down for a huge Warrington celebration. Keep your eyes peeled on our website and social media channels beforehand as there’ll be opportunities for young people and their families to get a sneak peek too.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has turned this decade-long dream into a reality, particularly our generous supporters including Warrington Borough Council. So much work has been put in by so many people to get us to this point where we are preparing to open our doors every night of the week. This is just the beginning.”

One young person who has already had chance to attend a taster session at the Youth Zone, 13-year-old Syd, said: “The Youth Zone is really, really fun, I love it so much. I can’t wait to join!”

The Youth Zone is being developed by the national charity OnSide and will join a network of similar centres across the UK but will be the very first in Cheshire. OnSide has raised the funds to build the Youth Zone and equip it with its annual running costs, thanks to the generosity of local businesses and philanthropists as well as a range of trusts and grants and the Council.

Cabinet member for children’s services at Warrington Borough Council, Cllr Sarah Hall, said: “I’m so excited for the Youth Zone to officially open its doors. It’s an outstanding building and there is genuinely something for everyone here. I know that the facilities are going to be well-used and the Youth Zone puts Warrington on the map – demonstrating we’re a place that helps young people to learn, grow and thrive.

 “It’s a wonderful new space and I’m proud of the role the council has played in supporting the vision of the Youth Zone.”

The Youth Zone has also created a number of employment and volunteering opportunities, bringing together a team of passionate and dedicated youth workers to support Warrington’s young people.

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