'Truly transformational' £1.2m Shotton Colliery youth hub officially opens

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Young people are celebrating in Shotton Colliery after a new £1.2 million Youth Hub, funded by the Youth Investment Fund, opened its doors.

The new Youth Hub is a first for Shotton Colliery, the area has not received any major youth investment before.

It is an extremely exciting moment for everyone in the local community.

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With building work complete, young people, funders, partners and building contractors joined together on May 29 for a ribbon cutting event to officially launch the Youth Hub.

The official opening of Shotton Youth Centre.The official opening of Shotton Youth Centre.
The official opening of Shotton Youth Centre.

Shotton Parish Council and Shotton Partnership 2000 worked hard to secure the Youth Investment Grant.

They had a bold ambition to build a new youth service offer to young people across Shotton Colliery and neighbouring villages in East Durham.

The new Youth Hub will support around 150 young people every week.

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The UK Government Youth Investment Fund is delivered by Social Investment Business in partnership with National Youth Agency, Resonance and Key Fund.

Having a dedicated youth space will give young people new opportunities to have fun, make friends and gain valuable skills for life and work.

After its official opening on June 4, parish Councillor Rona Hardy, who is also a board member on Shotton Partnership, said: “Today is an extremely exciting moment for our community especially the young people that will use the building .

"Securing the Youth Investment Fund grant and creating this wonderful space for young people is a testament to our successful and strong community partnership working in Shotton Colliery.

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"It has enabled us to support and help address concerns and issues raised by our community and our young people.

"The funding is far greater than the sum of its parts. It has had a ripple effect and opened new doors, helping us secure even more funding to realise Shotton’s dreams.

"It is truly transformational and will have a lasting impact on young people’s lives and the whole community.

"The Youth Hub is something that everyone in the community can be really proud of.”

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The new hub, based in Shotton Community Park, is an ideal location with lots of green space for outdoor activities.

It’s away from residential areas but in walking distance from people’s homes, making it easy for young people to get there.

The Youth Hub will initially provide youth sessions for four days a week, as well as a session at weekends.

The new services and activities include sports and games, a ‘chill out’ space, coaching, music deck, film nights and social nights and lots more.

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Young people’s ideas are at the heart of the Youth Hub and the new space reflects their needs and choices.

It is a space created for young people, by young people, a space that they can own.

Involving young people in bidding for the funding and sharing ideas for the hub’s look and feel, and the activities on offer, has been a fantastic opportunity.

It has not only been fun but also been about working together and learning new skills to support their personal development.

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Tilly Oliver, Shotton Youth liaison representative, is one of the young people who played a key role in developing the funding bid.

Tilly said: “Wow, I didn’t think that when I took part in the video we would get the money. When I was told, it feels like I’ll be part of history.”