With Inspire expected to open in May 2018, we’re sure you will have lots of questions before then. We hope you will find the answers below helpful, however if we haven’t covered a topic that you would like more information on, please contact us via email: enquiries@inspireyouthzone.org and we would be happy provide a response.

What potential benefits will the Youth Zone bring to Chorley?

What is Chorley Youth Zone?

Chorley Youth Zone will be a high-quality facility open to all of the young people from the borough between the ages of 8 to 19, and up to 25 with disabilities or learning difficulties. It will be located on Chapel Street, closed to the train station and bus station.

The Youth Zone will be somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to for all the young people of Chorley. It will complement and enhance existing provision for young people in terms of available activities. It will create opportunities for more of the borough’s young people, many of whom aren’t accessing the current provision. Chorley Youth Zone will engage and inspire young people to try positive new activities and raise their aspirations. The Youth Zone is based on the proven successful model of Bolton Lads & Girls Club (BLGC) and will open 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.

Chorley Youth Zone’s opening hours during term-time mirror school timetables, typically opening from 4pm – 10pm from Monday to Friday, and until 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays.  During school holidays, additional junior sessions offering affordable holiday care for local parents.

Based on local demographics and experience elsewhere, OnSide has projected that around 1000 young people will visit the Youth Zone each week.

Will my child be safe at the Youth Zone?

Inspire, Chorley Youth Zone will be run by suitably trained and qualified members of staff that are vetted in line with current legislation (including DBS check, previously known as CRB checks). Their focus will be to ensure all young people are safe when accessing the services offered by the Youth Zone.

Youth Zone sessions are split between Junior (8-12yrs) and Senior (13-19yrs) sessions. In the junior sessions all young people must be collected from the Youth Zones by their parents, carers or guardians.

Find here our latest Safeguarding Policy (2020) Inspire Youth Zone Safeguarding Policy – Apr 2020

How much will it cost to attend?

Annual membership for the Youth Zone will be £5, with each visit costing young people just 50p.

One critical factor in the success of the OnSide Youth Zone model is the voluntary relationship that exists between the Youth Zone and its members, i.e. the young people that attend do so because they choose to, and never because they have to.  This is key to developing positive, healthy relationships between young people and the staff and volunteers – which enables the Youth Zone to deliver high quality, engaging youth work to those that need it most.  It is also vital that the Youth Zone maintains its cover charge of 50p per session. Income from young people only amounts to around 10% of annual turnover but it is important as it creates a sense of value, ownership and equality.

What facilities will it have?

Chorley Youth Zone will be a purpose-built facility offering up to 20 different activities every session, including sport, fitness, dance, arts, music, media and self-improvement. The Youth Zone will include a two-court sports hall with facilities for indoor badminton, football, netball and basketball and a separate climbing wall. There will also be a fitness suite with the latest gym equipment and a basement kick pitch. The centre will include a kitchen and café area selling healthy food and drink, as well as dedicated areas for dance, music, film, and multi-media, arts and crafts, gaming and DJ-ing, martial arts and boxing facilities.

How did it come about?

Chorley Council has been keen to improve the offer for young people in the borough so that there are a wide variety of activities for children and young people to take part in. The council, in partnership with The Arts Partnership and local business people, have seen the Youth Zone model in other towns and cities in England and want to give their young people access to a similar world-class facility and the benefits it can bring for the whole community.  Chorley Youth Zone will be a slightly smaller but similar version of OnSide’s existing facilities in Bolton, Carlisle, Oldham, Manchester, Blackburn, Wigan and Wolverhampton.

How is the Youth Zone being funded?

The Youth Zone project cost is estimated at £4.3million. Chorley Council has agreed to an investment of £900,000 towards the Youth Zone development costs as well as providing two-thirds of the site with The Arts Partnership contributing their building to make up the rest of the development land. In addition Lancashire County Council has agreed to match Chorley Council’s investment by also providing £900,000 towards the construction of the Youth Zone.

OnSide has committed to securing a further £2.5million, which will be combined with the Local Authorities’ funding to cover the construction costs of the building. OnSide will raise these funds via its network of private sector supporters and charitable trusts and grants.

When will the Youth Zone open?

Chorley Youth Zone will open to the public from Saturday 5th May 2018.

Why did you choose the proposed site?

OnSide is keen for the Youth Zone to be accessible for all young people across the borough. The preferred site for the Youth Zone, where The Arts Partnership and Leigh Arms currently stand, was chosen due to its central, prominent location and accessibility to the bus and train stations.

What will happen to The Arts Partnership and Leigh Arms?

Both The Leigh Arms and The Community Centre will be demolished to make way for the Youth Zone. However the fantastic work that The Arts Partnership has done with young people over the last 15 years will continue, albeit in a different form, since Chorley Youth Zone will provide similar opportunities for young people in world-class facilities.

How much will it cost to run?

The annual running costs for the Youth Zone will be approximately £600k. This includes, for example, staffing costs, equipment, support for volunteers (including DBS checks), insurance, maintenance and utilities. The on-going financial support needed will be made up from a mixture of support from the private sector, charitable trusts and grants and members’ entry and membership fees.

Why will Chorley Youth Zone costs less to run than other OnSide Youth Zones?

Chorley Youth Zone will be somewhat smaller than OnSide’s Youth Zones elsewhere, as the town’s population is smaller. For that reason, we also expect Chorley Youth Zone to have slightly fewer young people using the building overall (although still around 1,000 per week). A slightly smaller building and slightly lower user numbers can be supported by reduced staffing and this is the primary reason for the reduced costs in Chorley Youth Zone. There will be other, minor savings from, for example, reduced heating and lighting costs.

How do we know the Youth Zone will be sustainable in the future?

The Youth Zone model is based on the successful Bolton Lads and Girls Club, where a combination of revenue streams, including private sector funding, ensures its sustainability and over time allows those income streams to grow and diversify further, increasing the Youth Zone offer. At the time of opening, OnSide ensures that each Youth Zone has three years revenue funding in place and this will be the case in Chorley. This allows the new charity time to establish itself as a key part of the local youth offer and demonstrate the huge value it can provide to the lives of many of the borough’s young people. Over the first three years, the Youth Zone, supported by its private sector-led Board, will develop new income sources and partnerships to allow its income to grow, in the same way that all OnSide Youth Zones have grown.

Who will run Chorley Youth Zone?

A new charity is being formed called Chorley Youth Zone. The Board of Trustees will be local business people and representatives from Chorley Council, who as volunteers will ensure the new charity delivers for the young people of Chorley. The day-to-day management of the Youth Zone will be the responsibility of a small team of paid staff, led by a General Manager. The Chairman of Chorley Youth Zone will be successful Chorley businessman Andrew Turner.

The Youth Zone will create a mixture of approximately 7 full and 19 part-time local jobs and generate a minimum of 65 volunteering opportunities within the community.

What will happen to all the existing Youth Provision?

Chorley Youth Zone will act as a platform to help grow the total offer for young people, with the purpose of complementing and enhancing the current offer for young people.

Youth Zones deliver the best service when they work in partnership with other local voluntary and statutory organisations. The Youth Zone might provide a new physical space for other organisations to deliver their activities or services to young people. Other local organisations find they can reach more young people through the Youth Zone membership. Experience from existing facilities shows that the vast majority of Youth Zone members do not already access existing local youth provision. For those young people that do attend other local centres, the Youth Zone is seen as an additional offer, and not a replacement.  The Youth Zone alone will be open for approximately 48 hours per week, representing a significant increase in choice and availability for local children and young people.

Chorley Youth Zone is keen to work in partnership with as many existing youth groups as possible and David Barton, OnSide’s Youth and Engagement Manager is leading on this. Anyone that would like to get involved, or know more, should contact David at: david.barton@onsideyouthzones.org.

Can the Youth Zone facilities be used by others when the building is not open to/being used by the young people?

We seek to ensure that the fantastic facilities in our Youth Zones are used to their full potential and endeavour to form partnerships with other local organisations to allow use of the facility when the core service is not being delivered.

We want to explore every possible opportunity to maximise the daytime use of Youth Zones but even here, we would give priority to… organisations whose values and provision fits with our core philosophy of providing young people with somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to. Across the network of existing Youth Zones partnerships with other voluntary sector providers have been developed such as NACRO, Brook and local community sports, arts and cultural organisations, who deliver their own services within the building and support running costs through funding contributions acquired from external sources.

Will young people from across Chorley mix together in the Youth Zone?

One of the major strengths of a Youth Zone is the way young people from different areas and backgrounds are able to mix in a neutral space. Evidence from existing Youth Zones suggests that members will mix with their peers from different backgrounds, as well as with young people from a range of local areas in the town, as long as the offer is good enough.

How will the Youth Zone provide services to young people with additional needs?

All Youth Zones provide young people with a range of additional needs up to the age of 25, through inclusive ability sessions alongside the mainstream offer. Sessions are adapted for young people with additional needs and are open for a wide range of young people to access; including those with mild learning difficulties, through to those with more complex needs such as visual impairment and physical disabilities. Young people are given the opportunity to access a range of activities, including boxing wide range of sports, trampolining, karaoke, arts and crafts, cooking, gaming and much more.

Will the central location of the Youth Zone increase anti-social behaviour?

The impact of other Youth Zones in their local areas has been extremely positive with statistics showing that the Youth Zones have actually contributed towards the decrease in anti-social behaviour.

For example, local police have reported a 77% reduction in anti-social behaviour (ASB) as a direct result of strategic and continued partnership work between Wigan Youth Zone and local police, whilst Harpurhey has also seen a 51% reduction in ASB since its opening.

Hear from PCSO Robert Smith, who patrols the Harpurhey area of Manchester, about his views of the impact The Factory Youth Zone has made on the reduction of ASB in the area: https://www.onsideyouthzones.org/youth-zoness-impact-on-asb-levels

How do I know my child will be safe travelling to and from the Youth Zone via public transport?

The safety of young people is of paramount importance to us. Chorley Youth Zone will be for all young people of the borough and its proposed central location could not be better in terms of its accessibility by foot, bus or train. The Youth Zone entrance will be approximately 25 metres from the central bus station and 50 metres from the railway station.

Where there are concerns about young people accessing the Youth Zone, our existing Youth Zones run a Walking Bus service for members, which provide safe, chaperoned walks into the Youth Zone as well as on the return journey.

We’ll be speaking to young people and local communities to explore their thoughts on safe transportation to the Youth Zone and all possible options.

What potential benefits will the Youth Zone bring to Chorley?

Hear from parents, voluntary sector youth providers and councillors in this short video about why they think Youth Zones are so important to their local areas: https://www.onsideyouthzones.org/changing-perceptions-of-a-youth-zone

Our young person’s Code of Conduct

As a member at Inspire Youth Zone, we only ask that you follow our three rules:

Respect the building.
Respect the staff.
Respect each other.

If you follow these rules, you and others are able to have fun in our incredible facility making use of the great activities on offer!