A fantastic brand-new youth centre was officially opened in Enfield on Wednesday (21 July).
Ponders End Youth Centre in South Street, Ponders End was opened in a ceremony that saw local young people experience and enjoy taster sessions of the new activities available.
The new youth centre was funded by Enfield’s Council’s Alma Regeneration Project, which is being delivered in partnership with Countryside, the UK’s leading mixed-tenure developer.
Countryside has delivered the youth centre as part of the wider regeneration, which is transforming the area opposite Ponders End station with over 1,000 new homes and over 71,000 sq ft of new community facilities.
The centre, which is open to 11 to 19 year olds (or up to 25 year olds if they are disabled), includes facilities including a boxing club, music studio, gym, motor mechanics workshop, football pitch, basketball court, multi-sports indoor centre and a multi-purpose room that can be used for creative activities such as arts and crafts.
Cllr Nesil Caliskan, Leader of Enfield Council, said: “We are doing everything we can to invest in young people and their futures; and to help encourage hard to reach young people to participate in activities they can enjoy and learn from that will bring brighter futures and prospects.
“That is why the Council leads on regeneration and new house building, so that we can create the community facilities that are needed for existing residents.”
The new Youth Centre is central to the community where young people can discover new interests, become more confident, make positive changes to their lives, strengthen their resilience, determination and ability to build trusting relationships.
It will also provide young people with opportunities, a place where they can feel safe and meet friends, relax, have fun and enjoy a range of stimulating, educational and recreational activities.
Kevin Delve, Managing Director, Partnerships East London, Countryside, said: “As the first of the new community facilities to be opened at our Elements regeneration of the Alma estate, this is a particularly important milestone for us.
"The new youth centre is symbolic of our commitment to creating a sustainable community for future generations in Ponders End, and we’re proud to see the regeneration take this vital step forward.”
Cllr Christine Hamilton, Deputy Mayor of Enfield Council, cut the ribbon to declare the centre open and was joined by Kate Osamor, MP for Edmonton.
Speeches were heard from young leaders, past members, Joe Morris Boxing Club and Steppaz who provide professional classes for all ages to help develop self-confidence, creativity, problem solving, perseverance, focus, collaboration, dedication and accountability.
Guests were taken on tours of the building in small groups that were led by young leaders.
A commemorative cake was cut by Cllr Mahtab Uddin, Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Cllr Nneka Keazor, Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Cohesion.
The original Alma Youth Club was built in 1971 but was no longer fit for purpose and was demolished to make way for the Ponders End Youth Centre.