The next stage of Essex's first Youth Zone coming to Basildon has taken place, after a planning application has been submitted to Basildon Council by national charity OnSide Youth Zones.

Subject to the planning application being approved, the Youth Zone will be built in the car park opposite Trafford House, as part of regeneration plans for Basildon town centre.

The site has been chosen for its central location, its convenient transport links across the borough, and for being near the new South Essex College Digital Campus due to open later this year in the town centre.

Ahead of a decision on planning, the charity is forming a Young People's Development Group which will help shape the Youth Zone, making key decisions on branding, staff recruitment, and much more.

Chairman of the Neighbourhoods and Public Spaces Committee, Councillor David Harrison, said: "The submission of the planning application is an exciting step closer to Essex's first Youth Zone coming to Basildon. We look forward to continuing to support OnSide in developing the facility - which will have such a positive impact on our borough's young people."

"I encourage all young people in the borough to get involved in the Development Group, it's a great opportunity to have your say and develop the facility into what you would want it to become."

OnSide Youth Zones' Relationship Development Manager, David Mellis, added: "We are delighted we are now at a stage where we can submit our planning application.The  Basildon Youth Zone will be the world class facility local young people deserve and we look forward to working with the Council and local community to make this happen.

"We are very keen to put young people at the heart of the project from the start and our Development Group provides them with an exciting opportunity to make their mark on their Youth Zone. As soon as we have planning permission, we want young people from Basildon to begin its branding process which involves coming up with a name for the Youth Zone."

State-of-the art facilities in the Youth Zone could include a four-court Sports Hall, 3G outdoor kick pitch, gym and boxing and martial arts room for sports, as well as a music room with a built in recording studio, arts and crafts area, climbing wall, dance studio, sensory room, teaching kitchen and rooms to deliver projects such as Enterprise and Employability.

Young people wishing to become part of the Youth Zone's Young People's Development Group should email phil.marsh@onsideyouthzones.org. OnSide will be hosting a Q&A session for young people and parents on Zoom on Thursday 21st January at 5pm.

ENDS

Published on Friday 15 January 2021