WE have taken a look inside the new £7.5million Warrington Youth Zone ahead of its opening next month.
The facility has been under construction for 14 years and will finally open its doors to the city’s young people on July 2nd.
And now Warrington’s young people have access to the charity’s “amazing facilities” that are used by children across the country, says executive director Dave McNicholl.
Membership is just £5 a year or alternatively admission is 50p per visit and the facility caters to young people aged between seven and 16 – and up to 25 for those with additional needs.
“I’m really looking forward to the opening, we’ve been planning this for 14 years now,” said Dave.
“The opening is an important day, but it’s also the culmination of a really long journey.”
On opening day there will be a parade from City Hall at 10.30am, moving to the Youth Zone in Dallam Lane for the opening at 11am.
Dave added: “We’re hoping that many families with young children from across Warrington will come to see it.
“The most important thing for us is that people recognize this as Warrington’s Youth Zone.
“So the point is that all the organizations that work with children and young people come here and have access to the fantastic facilities.
“This is the network’s 14th youth zone across the country and gives the people of Warrington access to fantastic facilities that young people across the country have.”
So far 900 young people have signed up for membership and the team hopes to have around 5,000 members by the end of the year.
Dave says the Warrington Youth Zone is like a ‘world buffet’ – there’s a lot of different things on offer and the charity doesn’t specialize in just one area.
Here is a first look at the facility:
The charity facility features a fully accessible rope climbing wall. It features 13 ropes and an overhang.
A recording studio is on site.
Chef Mani or Patrick Manicom will be making a splash in the youth zone with meals priced from just £1.
There is an inflatable bungee run on the premises.
And the youth zone will have a giant inflatable dartboard
With a projector, this area is perfect for showing events.
On the ground floor – the “heartbeat” of the youth zone – you will find billiard tables and a foosball table
A ‘tsunami’ of art is expected from the art space, which will also feature a kiln. A sewing machine is available for those wishing to repair or upgrade clothing.
The sensory room is open to everyone. It’s great for those with extra needs or any young people who want to reflect, switch off and relax.
It’s the perfect place to relax.
A gym is on site
With a variety of equipment, there is something for everyone in the gym.
Outside there is an allotment area where the youngsters can grow fruit and vegetables which they can later prepare in the kitchen area. Plans for an outdoor skate park are also in the works.
The dance studio will not only provide space for dance and performing arts sessions, but conferences and events can also be held in this space.
There is a table tennis table in addition to the pool tables and the football table.
There is a room for boxing and mixed martial arts. Pads and gloves are provided and fitness sessions are hosted here. According to Dave, this room offers the discipline of boxing in a relaxed space.
The sports hall is a hub for activities. Up to four different activities can take place in this room at the same time – with a trampoline, bungee strap and basketball hoop. Hockey, dodgeball, cricket and various other sports are offered here.
This is the “heartbeat” of the youth zone. The facility will be rearranged to accommodate various activities and events – including bowling and fashion shows.
The boxing and mixed martial arts themed room.
The boardroom features a nod to former Youth Zone Chair Nick “Hopp” Hopkinson MBE, who sadly passed away last year. He donated funds to the charity and drove the construction of Warrington’s Youth Zone. This room is used for meetings and various authorities have already tested the room.
The health and well-being room is intended to strengthen the self-confidence and self-esteem of young people. You can get hair, make-up and nails done here – and get help designing prom outfits with outfits donated by ASOS and Boohoo. There will also be a space to discuss personal development issues – including domestic violence and drug and alcohol issues.
The employability space is a space for those struggling in education or at risk of dropping out. Trained staff can teach young people skills – including how to iron their uniforms – and provide CV support.
The training kitchen has household appliances and barrier-free sinks and stoves. It also features a dining table, allowing young people to experience and enjoy a family dining environment.
Perhaps a highlight for many, the 4g soccer field on the roof.
A rooftop terrace will also provide space for activities and events, including an open-air cinema and stargazing.
In the music room there are various instruments that the young people can practice on. Trained staff will be available to assist.
Various devices are available in the music room.
The canteen offers young people affordable food and drinks.
A dedicated podcast room is available to allow for creativity and practice.
If you are interested in becoming a member, volunteering or donating to the charity, visit: https://warringtonyouthzone.org/ or call 01925 967277