Bristol is to become home to the South West’s first OnSide Youth Zone after the City Council’s Cabinet agreed to support proposals at a meeting on 9th March 2021.

At the meeting Councillors gave the go ahead for the project, which will be delivered by the national youth charity OnSide Youth Zones, in strategic partnership with Youth Moves and the Council. Youth Zones are safe, aspirational places for young people aged 8-19, or up to 25 for those with additional needs, to go in their leisure time.

Youth Moves will continue to operate as an independent, local charity and we will take on the operation of the new Youth Zone which will be built upon OnSide’s successful Youth Zone model, replicating 14 similar Youth Zones operating across the country.

Young people will be able to access over 20 activities every night. These range from sports such as football, boxing and climbing, to creative arts, music, drama and employability training – all for just 50p per visit.

At our Break Free Holiday programme - credit Studio Duo

The Youth Zone will cost £8.4million to build and last night Bristol City Councillors pledged to contribute half of that amount as well as £400,000 towards the charity’s annual £1.3million running costs.

OnSide has committed to raising the remaining development costs and will fundraise for the first three years from a combination of private sector contributions and accessing charitable trusts and grants. 

Our CEO Ali Dale said: "“Youth Moves has been working across South Bristol delivering youth work and championing the impact that great youth work makes for over 15 years. In this time, we have worked with thousands of young people and supported them on their journeys to adulthood.

So, we are delighted to be partnering with OnSide to bring this world-class youth work facility to South Bristol, which we know will make a huge difference to the lives of so many young people and to the wider community. This is especially important at this time to show young people and the area that we are investing in their futures, and to enable us to reach many more young people in the years to come.”

A view of South Bristol where a brand new youth zone has been signed off by Bristol City Council

The Chief Executive of Onside Youth Zones Kathryn Morley said: “The Council’s decision to support plans for a Youth Zone in South Bristol is wonderful news that will transform thousands of young lives. This is an historic moment for OnSide as we begin work on the first South West Youth Zone. Youth Moves has a well-earned reputation for supporting young people in the area and will help to maximise collaborative opportunities. We are delighted to partner with them to develop South Bristol Youth Zone.”

The announcement received some attention in the local media :

Bristol City Council interviewed Onside CEO Kathryn Morley :

And here is the official statement and announcement from Onside Youth Zones:

We will provide updates on any new developments as they come.