Work begins on £3m youth zone expansion

By Tim Aldred

11 Jul 2024

Blackburn Youth Zone Rosslee Construction

Accrington-based Rosslee Construction has begun work on a new £3.1m project to expand a multi-use facility at Blackburn Youth Zone.

The charity is building a new employment and skills hub in the Fusebox building on Jubilee Street to capitalise on the Youth Zone’s success with employability and ensuring youngsters are work-ready through strong links with businesses across the area.

Alongside the employability hub and Making Zone design studio, the Youth Zone entrance area is being transformed into a multi-purpose outdoor meeting space.

Other additions and improvements are a wet arts room, a training kitchen and a revamped gaming zone. A significantly improved health and well-being space will include a salon with hair-washing facilities, an updated music room, a relocated gym and new office space for staff.

Funding for the project was awarded by the government’s Department For Culture, Media and Sport via its Youth Investment Fund to increase the Blackburn & Darwen Youth Zone’s services to young people in careers, leisure, culture and sports activities.

Hannah Allen, Blackburn Youth Zone’s chief executive, said: "The impressive building is a historical asset to the town and we are thankful to the Youth Investment Fund for enabling us to transform the space that brought electricity to Blackburn into our very own world of work centre. 

"We provide young people with somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to. Our founding principle is starting where young people are, going where young people take us."

Rosslee director Michael Clarkson said: “We have planned the construction programme to ensure safety and ease, ensuring the building remains open throughout.

“We know how vital the Youth Zone is to the local community. It's been inspiring to see first hand the commitment of the Youth Zone and how passionate everyone is about delivering quality youth work.

“We have huge respect for the amazing opportunities available to the young people of Blackburn and, as a patron, we are honoured to be playing our part in making this space bigger, better and ready to welcome even more members than currently enjoy the Youth Zone experience.”

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