Fred Done has made a personal donation of £6million to create a brand-new Youth Zone in East Manchester.
Born and raised in Salford, the self-made businessman’s generous pledge to support thousands of local young people was revealed at an event today.
Fred, who has significant business interests across the UK and in the Northwest was inspired to develop a Youth Zone to support young people in East Manchester, after seeing first-hand the difference Wigan Youth Zone has made to local young people, the positive effects of which have rippled through the wider community.
After much consideration, Fred has chosen to come forward publicly to reveal his gift to the young people of Manchester, in the hope others will join in him in support of this transformational new charity.
Due to open in Gorton in 2020, the state-of-the-art Youth Zone will provide those aged 8-19, or up to 25 for those with additional needs, with access to top quality facilities and services, 7 days a week.
The Youth Zone is being delivered in partnership with Manchester City Council which has contributed £1.5 million capital funding towards the building’s construction and will provide additional funding to support running costs.
East Manchester Youth Zone becomes the latest community hub for national charity OnSide Youth Zones, which has already created a network of ten Youth Zones across the country since it was established in 2008.
The new Youth Zone is to be built on the former Gorton baths site at the corner of Hyde Road and Queensland Road with construction due to start in Spring 2019.
It will include an indoor climbing wall, 3G kick pitch, fully equipped gym, four court sports hall, a dance and drama studio, training kitchen, arts and crafts studio and much more – all available to young people for just 50p per visit.
Working alongside the business community and local organisations, the Youth Zone will also support young people into education, employment or training through employability and enterprise workshops.
Fred Done, Founder of BetFred said: “Manchester is a city close to my heart and is full of bright and talented young people who need somewhere safe and affordable to go, a place where they can discover their talents and develop their skills to achieve their full potential.
“The Youth Zone will provide opportunities for thousands of young people and I’m delighted to be part of such a life-changing project.
“Naturally a state-of-the-art facility such as this will need support from many more local businesses in order to give its members the best possible experience and I’d like to directly appeal to them to get involved.
“Further funding, positions on the board and the ability to provide work experience and employment opportunities are all vital components for a community hub such as this.”
Councillor Garry Bridges, Executive Member for Children’s Services, Manchester City Council, said: “Enormous thanks are due to Fred Done for his very generous donation that is, without doubt, going to help change lives.
“We’re committed to doing everything we can to help all young people across the city achieve their full potential and be the very best they can be, and this brand new facility provides a solid foundation to help us in this.
“We would encourage anyone with a vested interest in young people to get involved and help make a real difference to them.”
Joanne Whittaker, Chair of East Manchester Youth Zone said: “I am thrilled to be part of such an exciting new charity which will benefit the entire community in East Manchester, not only will the Youth Zone provide amazing opportunities for young people but it will also create over 50 jobs and over 100 volunteer opportunities for those interested in working with young people.”
Jamie Carson, Project Director North at OnSide Youth Zones said: “A huge thank you to Fred Done for making such a tremendous gift to Manchester’s young people, the Youth Zone will make an incredible difference to the community for generations to come.”