HH Smith & Sons has started on site with the construction of a £6m youth centre in Birkenhead, known as the Hive.
The facility, run by charity OnSide, will offer a range of activities for young people aged between eight and 19, and up to 25 for those with a disability, including dance, sport, fitness, music and media. The Hive will cost young people 50p per visit.
The 27,000 sq ft building is planned for a site next to the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service in Exmouth Street. External space around the block will be used for a skate park and multi-use games area.
Seven Architecture designed the building.
The plot was donated to the youth charity by the fire service which is charging a peppercorn rent for 125 years.
The facility is expected to open at the end of 2016.
The opening of the Wirral Youth Zone follows the success of OnSide’s projects in Carlisle, Wigan, Blackburn, Oldham and Manchester.
John Syvret, chairman of The Hive, said: “Wirral’s new Youth Zone, The Hive, will give all young people of Wirral somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to. As with any OnSide Youth Zone, the project will rapidly take shape and this occasion will mark the start of what is set to be a fantastic project for the borough. We are all hugely excited to celebrate this key milestone and the day will be a significant one for the borough come the end of 2016 when we hope the project will be completed.”
The Youth Zone has secured capital investment from Bibby Line Group, The Johnson Foundation, The Leverhulme Trust, UBS, Linbury Trust, OnSide, The Queen’s Trust, St James’s Place Foundation, Holroyd Foundation, Wirral Council, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and The North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
Wirral Youth Zone is an independent charity which will operate to the successful OnSide Youth Zones model. The Youth Zone will cost approximately £6m to build and £1m to run annually. Wirral Council is both a strategic partner and funder on the project.