Hunt is on for a name for Preston's new Youth Zone

Two options are in the running for the name of Preston’s new Youth Zone - and potential future users of the facility are being given a chance to have their say in which one is picked.
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Each of the possibilities - ‘Base’ and ‘Vault’ - comes with its own distinct branding. A group of young people working on the development of the Youth Zone, which is due to open opposite the bus station next year, have been involved in shortlisting the names and in the design process - and now youngsters from across the city and surrounding area will be able to take part in a public vote to choose the winning concept.

Rachel Simpson, who founded the Preston-based design agency Bird - one of two design teams that worked on the project - told the Lancashire Post that creating a brand young people wanted to identify with was crucial, meaning the moniker was about “more than just a logo”.

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How the new Youth Zone in Preston will look, excpet for one thing - its name (image:  Elephant Visual)How the new Youth Zone in Preston will look, excpet for one thing - its name (image:  Elephant Visual)
How the new Youth Zone in Preston will look, excpet for one thing - its name (image: Elephant Visual)
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“We've got kids involved [from the start] to make sure that they are happy with it - and so it means something to them.

“They wanted something [to signify] they belonged, so bringing the brand out into the actual building itself is really important, [ensuring] they get the right feeling and the vibe of the place. What kept coming out was that they wanted something quite urban, quite cool.

“It’s not just a logo that’s going to be slapped on the side of the building - it will be incorporated throughout. ‘Vault’ is very much about the shapes - it can be used for the furniture…and the signage. ‘Base’…can open up into the different spaces [within the building].

“It gets the kids excited…[and sets] the tone of voice [for the Youth Zone],” Rachel explained.

Is 'Vault' the look that will appeal to Preston's young people? (image: Bird/The Chase )Is 'Vault' the look that will appeal to Preston's young people? (image: Bird/The Chase )
Is 'Vault' the look that will appeal to Preston's young people? (image: Bird/The Chase )
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Members of the Young People’s Development Group - made up of 12-19-year-olds helping to bring the Youth Zone to life - say they chose ‘Base’ as an option, because it captured the essence of the facility as a safe place to return to and somewhere to feel grounded.

Meanwhile, ‘Vault’ was developed around the concept that the Youth Zone will be a safe space where experiences are enjoyed and connections forged - and stored.

Development group member Kelsey, 18, said she had “loved every second” of her involvement so far.

Or is 'Base' a better choice? (image: Bird/The Chase )Or is 'Base' a better choice? (image: Bird/The Chase )
Or is 'Base' a better choice? (image: Bird/The Chase )

“From meeting new people to putting ideas together for the new Youth Zone…it has let us young people have power and oversee the process - and has required creativity, teamwork and genuine commitment to support the Youth Zone," she explained.

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Stuart Mitchell, a graphic designer from creative consultants The Chase - which has also been working on the name and branding plan - praised the “enthusiasm, fresh perspectives and unfiltered honesty” that were on display during the design sessions in which the young people have taken part.

He said the atmosphere was one of ”excitement and creativity”, adding: “It really was inspiring to see how invested they all were in shaping something which is truly reflective of the aspirations and energy of the community our Youth Zone will soon serve.”

The vote on the name is now open - for young people only - at: Votes will also be taken in schools.


The Young People’s Development Group will play a major part in the evolution of the Youth Zone over the next 12 months - including by having a say over the interior design and even interviewing potential staff members.

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To register your interest in becoming a member, email: [email protected]


Preston’s Youth Zone has added two new city businesses to the list of patrons that will be giving ongoing financial support to the facility.

The private Greater Lancashire Hospital and developer Pringle Homes have followed BAE Systems in providing funding towards the development’s running costs.

Greater Lancashire Hospital will donate £25,000 a year through until 2027, with Gwam Rajiah, co-founder and executive chairman of its operator, Bespoke Healthcare Group, explaining that his is “a Lancashire family who wish to support the best future for every city resident”.

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“The ambitious new Preston Youth Zone will ensure that young people can achieve their full potential here in Lancashire by providing them with the support and guidance they need.

“It will bring widespread, ongoing benefits for the communities of Preston, our county and the wider North West - and we were delighted and honoured to be able to help,” Mr. Rajah added.

Meanwhile, Pringle Homes’ commercial director Sam Fleuriot said the firm was keen to support initiatives that benefit young people.

“We are thrilled to be a founder patron of Preston Youth Zone,” he said.

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“The youth in our city are hugely important to our future [and] Preston Youth Zone will support and encourage many young people to take positive paths in life, fulfilling their potential and contributing to their community.

“We are very pleased to help with this great cause.”

Preston Youth Zone chair Guy Topping thanked both businesses for their generosity and urged others, as well as philanthropists, “to join the founder patron family”.

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