Youth zone dream comes a step closer with application

How Chorley youth zone could look

How Chorley youth zone could look

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Plans for a youth zone in Chorley have been in the pipeline for years and they now look set to come to fruition.

A planning application for the site on Railway Street in Chorley town centre has now been submitted to Chorley Council.

Pictured celebrating the planning application being submitted are Gwynne Furlong, chairman of the Arts Partnership, Michelle Graham, from the Arts Partnership, Andrew Turner, chairman of Chorley Nissan and Chorley Youth Zone, Wayne Carter, OnSide Youth Zones youth engagement worker, and Dr Mark Ward, OnSide project director, with young people from Chorley Youth Zone young peoples development group

Pictured celebrating the planning application being submitted are Gwynne Furlong, chairman of the Arts Partnership, Michelle Graham, from the Arts Partnership, Andrew Turner, chairman of Chorley Nissan and Chorley Youth Zone, Wayne Carter, OnSide Youth Zones youth engagement worker, and Dr Mark Ward, OnSide project director, with young people from Chorley Youth Zone young peoples development group

It would see the Leigh Arms pub and the Arts Partnership buildings demolished to make way for a purpose-built facility for young people named Inspire, Chorley Youth Zone.

Subject to planning permission being granted, work is expected to start there this summer.

Once open, the youth zone would cater for children aged eight to 19 and those up to 25 with disabilities.

Facilities would include a sports hall, climbing wall, fitness suite, a room for arts and crafts, and a music and media room.

There would be close to 20 activities on offer each night and it would cost just 50p per visit.

Andrew Turner, who is chairman of the Chorley Group and was appointed chairman of the youth zone in October, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into gathering the thoughts of young people, the council and local residents in order to prepare the youth zone’s planning application and we are now delighted to be in a position to submit.

“The young people of Chorley deserve an OnSide youth zone which will give them a safe and inspiring place to spend their leisure time, and we are on the road to making that dream a reality.”

The youth zone is being created in partnership with Chorley Council, Lancashire County Council, OnSide Youth Zones and the Arts Partnership.

OnSide Youth Zones was set up in 2008 and more than 25,000 young people are members of its six centres, with locations including Bolton, Wigan and Blackburn.

There are also plans to open more youth zones around the country, including in Preston. Chorley’s youth zone has been considered for several years, with suggested venues including Chorley Library, the former Queens pub and the old McDonald’s building on Market Street.

In 2014, Chorley councillors agreed to move forward with the plans for the Railway Street site. Late last year, the youth zone’s branding was revealed as Inspire - Do Your Thing after a consultation with more than 400 young people across Chorley.

A public exhibition was held before Christmas, where people could view the plans and speak to members of the project team.

To find out more about Chorley’s youth zone, contact OnSide on 01204 362128 or email enquiries@onsideyouthzones.org.