Youth Zone consultation

Closes 2 Jan 2022

Opened 16 Nov 2021

Overview

The proposed £8.4 million South Bristol Youth Zone is a collaboration with delivery partners OnSide, and local charity and provider, Youth Moves.

Youth Zones can be found across the UK and are affordable, high quality spaces for children and young people (CYP) aged 8 to 19, or under 25 for those with a special educational needs and disability (SEND).

Youth Zones give children and young people somewhere to go, inspiring things to do and supportive people to talk to. They can get involved in a wide range of activities, develop new skills and can socialise with other young people from Bristol in a safe and accessible environment.

The development of a South Bristol Youth Zone was a manifesto pledge by the administration to improve the offer of youth provision in the south of the city. This development links to the Belonging Strategy, which puts children and young people at the heart of Bristol’s recovery from the pandemic by gaining the support and skills they need as they grow up to thrive and prosper in adulthood.

Features of a Youth Zone:

  • Up to 250 young people can attend each Youth Zone every evening
  • Dedicated youth workers help young people to look after their mental health and develop the skills they need for the future
  • They are neutral, empowering, safe places for young people to socialise with peers and adult role models
  • Young people have access to world class facilities such as a four-court sports hall and climbing wall
  • Buildings and activities are open to all young people
  • Iconic, inspiring buildings show the community the value of young people
  • Just 50p per visit, £1 for a nutritious hot meal, £5 annual membership
  • Inspiring individual and group activities, including boxing, martial arts, cookery and dance
  • Career and mentoring schemes

OnSide have successfully delivered 14 other Youth Zones across the country (see examples here) and we are excited about the positive impact this investment could bring to our communities. 

Reports show that since the opening of a Youth Zone in:  

  • Chorley, youth anti-social behaviour has halved  

  • Manchester, local police have pointed to a 13 per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour in the first year since opening and a 51 per cent reduction in the following year  

  • Wigan, local police point to a 77 per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour incidents in the nearby park following the establishment of a Youth Zone. Moreover, 97 per cent of residents agreed that the Youth Zone makes a positive contribution to community cohesion and 94 per cent consider that it raises pride in the local area.   

The South Bristol Youth Zone would be a space to build community relationships and to bring children and young people together who may not usually meet. From Southville to Filwood, Hartcliffe and Withywood to Windmill Hill, we want this to be an accessible and welcoming place for young people in the area.  

The South Bristol Youth Zone would sit alongside other regeneration projects for the area including youth services, housing, employment, public transport and walking and cycling routes. These will support growth in the economy in the south of our city and provide opportunities for future generations of south Bristolians to live, work and thrive.  

Initial engagement

Our recent public engagement, which ran from 3 September to 17 October 2021, showed there is strong support for the goals of the Youth Zone in Bristol. This was demonstrated by each of five Youth Zone goals receiving over 90% support from respondents.

The 5 goals of the Youth Zone are: 

  • Goal 1: Give young people a safe and exciting place to go where they can have fun, make friends and support their personal development. 
  • Goal 2: Help young people to lead healthier, happier lives. 
  • Goal 3: Enable young people to face the challenges of life better. 
  • Goal 4: Support young people to raise their aspirations and fulfil their potential. 
  • Goal 5: Strengthen communities by supporting young people to be empowered, active, responsible citizens. 

You can read the full report here.

We have considered the responses and are now asking for your feedback on the proposal to build a South Bristol Youth Zone.   

Enhancing existing youth services 

We want the South Bristol Youth Zone to add to the youth services already running in the area, not replace them. We remain committed to supporting young people within their individual neighbourhoods and communities and acknowledge the benefit that local youth organisations provide. 

Targeted support for our young people remains at the heart of our citywide approach, of which our Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector are hugely important. The Youth Zone would be a facility that already established youth organisations can use to provide their services.  

We will work with the youth sector as our plans progress to support and develop their fantastic existing offer alongside the proposed Youth Zone. 

Proposed location 

The proposed site behind Inns Court and by Hengrove Way roundabout sits on the boundaries of four south Bristol wards: Filwood, Hartcliffe and Withywood, Hengrove and Whitchurch Park and Bishopsworth, making it a neutral, accessible, and welcoming location for all surrounding communities.

No houses will be knocked down to make way for the Youth Zone. It would be built on land which is not already occupied by housing. The South Bristol Youth Zone is not connected to a wider project of home building, and we have no plans to build housing on this site. 

Bristol City Council and OnSide carried out an extensive selection process to determine the best site for the Youth Zone, including looking at brownfield site options. The proposed site behind Inns Court and by Hengrove Way roundabout was selected as the most feasible and which best supports the aims of the Youth Zone.

Accessibility and transport

Concerns were raised in the previous engagement about how the proposed site is not easily accessible to children from other areas of South Bristol and that transport links to the site are not sufficient. Our Transport Team are actively looking at options for how young people can travel to and from the site safely. To support this work, we are asking you in this survey for any ideas or suggestions that you have regarding access and transport.

What next 

Your views and opinions as local residents are hugely important to the success of this project, especially those of children and young people who will be using the facility. We value your opinion and will listen to what you have to say. Our public consultation has now opened and you can tell us what you think. 

If you would like the survey in an alternative format please let us know by email: jointcommissioning.children@bristol.gov.uk

This consultation closes on Sunday 2 January 2022.  After it has closed, we will carefully consider all the responses to help us develop our proposals for the South Bristol Youth Zone. There will be another opportunity to comment as part of a separate planning process on more detailed plans as part of a 'pre-planning application consultation' through a dedicated website between 6 to 12 December and at a venue close to the proposed site on 6 and 7 December.

As the project progresses, OnSide will work with the community to establish what other services you want delivered at the Youth Zone. Young people will have an active role in decision making with a Young People’s Development Group being used to choose branding, interview potential staff members, and inform what activities, classes, and support will be delivered. (If you would like to join the Young People’s Development Group, please see the end of the survey for sign up details). 

The responses from this consultation, the pre-planning application consultation, and technical work will be included in a Full Business Case in Spring 2022. The project will need planning permission and the support of Bristol City Council to proceed, with Cabinet due to make its final decision in Spring 2022.

What happens next:

  • Bristol City Council decision consultation is open from 15 November until 26 December 
  • The OnSide public consultation on the proposed designs for the development will take place through a dedicated website between 6 to 12 December and at a venue close to the proposed site on 6 and 7 December
  • OnSide will submit their Planning Application in early 2022
  • The Full Business Case will be presented to Cabinet in Spring 2022 

Areas

  • Bishopsworth
  • Filwood
  • Hartcliffe and Withywood
  • Hengrove and Whitchurch Park

Audiences

  • Children / Young People

Interests

  • Children and young people