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Patron announced for Dagenham youth zone

PUBLISHED: 09:56 17 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:57 17 November 2016

Upcoming projects like the Youth Zone should fulfill residents' deisres for more - and safer - activities for children (Pic: Charlie Coleman)

Upcoming projects like the Youth Zone should fulfill residents' deisres for more - and safer - activities for children (Pic: Charlie Coleman)

Infinte 3D Ltd, Infinite 3D Ltd.

Plans for a multi-million pound youth club have been given a boost as organisers partner with a leading interactive creative solutions agency.

Engage Works will contribute £1 million each year as founder patron for Barking and Dagenham’s Future Youth Zone, working with Onside, to create the facility in Parsloes Park, Dagenham by 2018.

The announcement comes weeks after Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train pledged her support.

Once complete the premises will offer a range of activitiefrom sports to cooking and music to art, for those aged eight to 19, or up to 25-years-old for those with disabilities.

Engage Works will offer expert advice, support, time and work experience opportunities to young people.

Steve Blyth, founder and CEO of Engage Works, said: “Experiencing the facilities in action, and meeting the young people involved in the Wigan Youth Zone blew me away. Providing tools for physical activity and creative stimulation for young people who would otherwise not have these opportunities is fantastic.

“Both Nick Burns (chair) and I were born and raised in east London, so the launch of a Future Youth Zone in Barking and Dagenham has a personal attachment for both of us. It’s important for Engage to interweave with the local community and support young people, living and soon-to-be working here.”

Barking and Dagenham Council will lead development and provide half the £6 million costs, with the Jack Petchey Foundation and Queen’s Trust contributing significantly.

Three youth zones are being created in London, building on success in the north of England.

Charles Mindenhall, Future Youth Zone chair, said: “Their commitment will help ensure a much brighter future for young people in Barking and Dagenham.”

Membership will be £5 a year with each visit costing a mere 50p.

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