Croydon’s Legacy Youth Zone has received the backing of the Stone Family Foundation, with a generous £500,000 contribution towards its capital costs.

The world class youth facility will be London’s third OnSide Youth Zone when it opens its doors in 2018. Costing £6m to build, it will be located where Whitehorse Road meets Boulogne Road, close to the Selhurst area of the borough.

Croydon Council, who has supplied the site, has already committed to funding £3.25m towards the capital cost as well as an additional £300k per year as part of the £1m annual revenue costs.

The young people of Croydon have also shown their excitement and enthusiasm for the Youth Zone. Earlier this year, a record number of votes were cast in an OnSide branding process with nearly 3,000 having their say in determining the facility will be named Legacy Youth Zone.

OnSide Youth Zones, the charity behind the project, has a remarkable track record in the North West and the Midlands of building world class youth facilities that give young people somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to. Costing just £5 for an annual membership, Youth Zones are places where all young people feel valued, they have a voice, they work and play together and they have developed respect and tolerance for those form different walks of life.

Upon hearing of OnSide’s intention to develop Youth Zones in London, and in particular in Croydon, the Stone Family Foundation was only too happy to offer its support. The Foundation commits more than £1m per year supporting projects in the UK for adult mental health and disadvantaged youth.

OnSide will secure its share of construction and running costs from a combination of private sector supporters and charitable trusts and grants. The Stone Family Foundation donation will add to the growing list of support and will make a huge difference to the lives of thousands of young people in area.

John Stone, Founder of The Stone Family Foundation said: “Having already contributed to the establishment of the club in Wolverhampton we know what a fantastic job that Youth Zone is doing to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people.  I am particularly delighted to help establish a new club in Croydon because I know from personal experience what a deprived area this has become and the real need for a safe, stimulating place in the district in Croydon where the club will be built.”

Kay Andrews, acting chair of Legacy Youth Zone, said: “We are thrilled to have the Stone Family Foundation’s support.

“The Foundation has a fantastic history of supporting brilliant charities so to have their backing shows what belief they have for the Youth Zone. I’d just like to extend my gratitude on behalf of the young people of Croydon, for it is they who will truly benefit from this generous funding.”

Councillor Alisa Flemming, Croydon Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and learning, said: “This is brilliant news and I’d like to thank the Stone Foundation for their support for our young people. This is such an important project for Croydon, and I’m really pleased that the council’s investment is already being added to by others.”

Legacy will provide 20 different activities for up to 200 young people each evening for just 50p per visit.

In 2015 OnSide also struck £6 million agreements in two other London boroughs to create Youth Zones in Barking and Dagenham and Barnet, as part of five priority locations identified in the capital.

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