Dave McNicholl, chief executive of Warrington Youth Club, talks about the new plans for a youth zone in the town

IN February we took a significant step forward to developing a Youth Zone in Warrington as a planning application for the centre was submitted.

A Youth Zone is a purpose built state of the art centre for children and young people providing a wide range of social and personal development opportunities, wrapping around the school timetable.

Youth Zones are modelled on the award winning Bolton Lads and Girls Club. There are currently 10 established across the country from Wolverhampton to Carlisle.

The next to open is Chorley Youth Zone which will open its doors in May. The network has now developed into the capital with three under development.

Warrington Youth Zone is due to open towards the end of 2019, it will be located in the Stadium Quarter, next to the University Technical College (UTC) and adjacent to the bus station.

The site is ideally located with excellent access.

The Youth Zone will be open 365 days a year providing a rich offer of services, activities and events for children and young people aged seven to 19, or up to 25 for those with a disability.

Members will pay an annual membership of £5 and 50p on each visit. They will be able to access a wide range of excellent facilities including a four court sports hall, a state of the art gym, a recording studio, performing arts centre and a kitchen in which they will learn how to prepare meals.

Youth Zones are based on the ideology of ‘Try, Train, Team’, children and young people will have access to top of the range facilities and will be able to try new activities. For those who show an interest in developing their skills in a particular area they will be encouraged to train to take their interest to the next level.

Through links with organisations across the town children and young people will then be encouraged to join teams or more focused groups to further develop their interest which was identified in their time at the Youth Zone.

Over the next two years Warrington Youth Club is focusing on developing processes, structures and systems as we prepare to transition to becoming the Youth Zone.

This facility will provide organisations and community groups an opportunity to access some fantastic activities on a daily basis.