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Newham’s state-of-the-art youth precinct is now open – Newham Council

• Shipman Youth Zone in Custom House officially opened by Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE
• The £8m facility will provide youth services and a family centre

The new Shipman Youth Zone is now open, representing an £8 million investment and bringing Newham Council closer to its goal of making the borough the best place in the country to grow up.

Young people from the area joined Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz OBE and Councilor Sarah Ruiz, Lead Member for Children and Young People, to officially open the building. East Ham MP Sir Stephen Timms also attended.

The carbon neutral building offers an abundance of activities and opportunities in an exciting space that has been finished to the highest possible specification. It was also co-produced with the young people who already call the building their home.

On site, there is a custom built gym with equipment for basketball, volleyball, soccer and many other activities, a music studio for budding musicians, a green screen multimedia suite for film production and a fitness suite and wellness that offers opportunities to keep fit. and healthy. In addition, youth will be able to learn to cook in a fully functional kitchen and prepare meals for their peers and their families using food grown in the center’s garden. Other facilities include a dance studio, an IT suite and an arts and crafts room.

The designs for the new center were co-produced with the young Custom House and Rivington Studios architects. Work on the center began in February 2023 and involved demolishing the former Shipman Youth Zone and replacing it with a sustainable carbon neutral building that will be net zero in operation. This means that with the help of solar panels, battery storage and efficient design, the building will produce more energy than it consumes. It also uses cross-laminated timber on the structure, reducing the carbon impact compared to traditional materials such as steel. The London Legacy Development Corporation provided funding of over £200,000 from their carbon offset fund to enable this particular aspect of the build.

The center will also offer services for babies, toddlers and their families as it will function as a family centre. During the day, the site will provide a one-stop shop for advice on a range of issues, including perinatal classes, parenting support and sit and play sessions.

Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE said: “I remember the old Shipman Youth Area from when I was a ward councilor and how much it was loved by all who used it, despite its dilapidated condition. I made a commitment to those young people that I would deliver a new youth zone that was as ambitious as they were, and the results are full of excitement. Designed with young people in mind, the Shipman Youth Zone is a magnificent home to a range of activities and services, in state-of-the-art facilities and housed in this beautiful, carbon neutral, net zero building. Together with the co-located Family Hub, it is a beacon of our commitment that Newham will be the best place for children and young people to thrive.”

The Shipman Youth Zone is open six days a week.

View the Shipman Youth Zone webpage for more information.