A MULTI-purpose hall, free Wi-Fi and broadband, a kitchen and coffee bar area, space for group work and private sessions are among the new facilities for young people who have been unveiled at an official ceremony in Skelmersdale.
The new £2m West Lancashire Youth Zone will be run by Lancashire County Council’s Young People’s Service. It is based in the town centre on Southway. It will be open for a minimum of four nights a week. A wide range of activities and opportunities for young people to get together in a safe and fun environment will be on offer.
Speaking at the youth zone opening earlier this week, Kevin Ellard, chairman of Lancashire County Council, said:
“It really is great to see the plans for Lancashire’s youth zones becoming a reality. I have watched with pride as young people, officers and politicians have worked together to develop this new way of providing modern services and facilities.
“I’d personally like to thank everyone involved in getting this new youth zone finished for their hard work and determination.
“This youth zone here in Skelmersdale is superb. As well as offering positive activities, the youth zones will also be an important base for providing early support for vulnerable young people.”
Other amenities at the youth zone include a chill-out area, gaming areas, studio and performance workshop areas for arts, music and drama, a young people’s information centre and an outdoor multi-use games area.
The building will also enable a range of other young people’s services, including targeted youth support and the youth offending team, to be brought together on the same site.
Saffron Ryan, aged 16, the West Lancashire member of the UK Youth Parliament, said:
“I’ve chatted with the other young people who attend the youth council about this and there’s no doubt we’re all very excited about our new youth zone.”
“The youth zone will be open to people from the age of 12 to 19, and up to 25 for people with additional needs. People who attend the centre will also be able to get involved in having a say in how the centre and groups are run.”
The £2m funding for the youth zone was agreed in September 2012. The county council has worked with young people and people from partner organisations to develop the proposals.
Matthew Tomlinson, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said:
“Although times are tough financially and we are having to make unprecedented financial savings, we remain firmly committed to making sure Lancashire’s young people have access to the very best facilities and services. This is another example of this commitment.
“This youth zone model creates key centres in areas of most need, while also providing a geographical spread of ‘satellite’ services across the rest of the district. As well as providing positive activities, the youth zones will also be a base for services providing early support to vulnerable young people.”
Ben Wheeler, aged 18, from Up Holland, is looking forward to being able to use the new youth zone. Ben said: “It will provide a new place to meet new people and socialise within the local community.”
“After the official opening, we’ll be holding our own event over the Easter holidays with loads of activities to have a go at. We’ll be keeping our West Lancashire Youth Zone Facebook page updated with information on all the new things on offer such as youth clubs; music groups; smartz; youth council and young mums as well as lots of others still to be decided.”
More information on the youth zone and the services on offer is available online at