Work has started on Preston’s iconic new youth zone.
The diggers have moved in to start demolishing existing buildings to make way for the new youth work facility.
Preston Youth Zone+ will be sited on the corner of Bow Lane and Ringway.
Most of the land where it will be built currently forms part of County Hall’s car park.
The Headstart Nursery which occupied a building on the corner has already been relocated and is being knocked down.
The £6.1 million facility will be a safe and affordable place to go for children and young people from the age of eight to 21, and up to 25 for people with disabilities and/or learning difficulties.
The Youth Zone+ will also offer enterprise, training, mentoring and apprenticeships for all young people, to help provide new experiences and create a more positive future for them.
County Councillor Mark Perks, the county council’s cabinet member for young people, said: “The county council has invested a significant amount of money into this ‘one stop shop’ for young people.
“It clearly illustrates the commitment in Lancashire to providing them with high quality, joined-up services.
“It will offer all of the services that they may need, especially if they are at risk or vulnerable.
“For me, the dream of an iconic youth zone in Preston is becoming a reality. Its striking design will make it a landmark site for Preston.
I very much hope it will be a flagship in a network of youth zones and satellite provision around the county.
The project is a public and private sector partnership led by the Youth Zone’s board which is chaired by Guy Topping of Barton Grange. He said: “As a Prestonian I’m adamant that a facility like this for Preston isn’t just something that’s nice to have, it’s a vital part of securing a positive future for Preston.”
Other partners will include the NHS and the Preston-based Urban Exchange partnership, which provides information, advice and specialist support services to young people in the city.