Horizon Youth Zone has been awarded a £5.7million Youth Investment Fund grant to build the new state-of-the-art youth centre. This means that the Youth Zone, which will be run as a new local charity once opened, has secured all of its construction costs. Focus can now turn to fundraising its annual running costs, which will come from private sector and philanthropic donations.
Expected to open in early 2025, Horizon Youth Zone will be located in Grimsby town centre in the former West Haven Maltings and Migar House buildings. It will provide thousands of 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.
Horizon Youth Zone is being delivered by national charity OnSide, in partnership with North East Lincolnshire Council which is contributing towards the Youth Zone as part of the Greater Grimsby Town Deal. The Youth Investment Fund grant will also go towards the Youth Zone’s site preparation and pre-opening costs. Other key supporters of the project include Historic England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Ørsted, St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation, and private donors.
Once opened, Horizon Youth Zone will be an independent charity with a private-sector led board. It will be part of the OnSide Network of 14 Youth Zones nationwide, supporting over 50,000 young people annually. Youth Zones are open to young people aged between eight and 19 (up to 25 for those with additional needs), seven days a week, for just 50p a visit. Members will have access to an indoor climbing wall, 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, enterprise and employability suite.
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 Grimsby’s young people to thrive. It will create permanent full and part-time jobs, as well as volunteering opportunities.
Horizon Youth Zone is one of 43 youth services in England to benefit from the first wave of Youth Investment Fund grants, announced by the funder, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the charity Social Investment Business, who is delivering the grant programme in partnership with Key Fund, National Youth Agency and Resonance.
The Youth Investment Fund is part of the Government’s National Youth Guarantee to transform and level up opportunities for young people in England. The Youth Investment Fund, of over £300 million, aims to build, renovate, or extend youth service facilities, providing a minimum of 45,000 additional positive activities for young people between 11 and 18 – in the parts of the country where new spaces and new opportunities are most needed.
Chair of Horizon Youth Zone Board, Jason Stockwood commented on the announcement: “This is a huge deal for Horizon Youth Zone, the partnership behind the project and Grimsby’s young people, as we can finally start building the youth centre. This major investment will provide young Grimbarians with incredible opportunities to find their voice, increase their confidence and gain new skills. I want to thank OnSide for their continued support and the DCMS for showing their belief in the Youth Zone and Grimsby’s young people.”
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: “I want every young person to have the opportunity to access the kinds of life-changing activities which expand their horizons and allow them to develop vital life skills.
“The National Youth Guarantee will provide these opportunities and support young people with access to regular club activities, adventures away from home and volunteering opportunities.
“We are supporting this today with an investment to create or renovate spaces for youth clubs and activities to support opportunities for thousands of young people across the country who would otherwise miss out.”
A spokesperson for North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “This is excellent news for young people in our area. We’ve been working with OnSide for several years to bring this development forward in one of our key Grade II listed heritage buildings in the town centre that’s been derelict for many years.
“Once the building is operational, alongside the leisure development we are progressing at Freshney Place, the additional footfall will be a much needed boost to the town centre.
“We’ll continue to work with OnSide over the coming months and years as the building comes out of the ground. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish OnSide well, thank them, and the rest of the partners, for bringing such a fantastic facility to the town centre.”
OnSide is currently recruiting a new CEO for Horizon Youth Zone and work on-site is due to start in April. For further updates on progress, visit www.horizonyouthzone.org