Newham’s £8 million State-of-the art youth zone now open

Shipman centre 2024

• Shipman Youth Zone in Custom House officially opened by Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE
• £8 million facility will offer youth services and a Family Hub

The brand new Shipman Youth Zone is now open, representing an £8million investment and taking Newham Council a step closer in its goal to make the borough the best place in the country to grow up.

Young people from the area joined Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz OBE and Councillor Sarah Ruiz, Lead Member for Children and Young People to officially open the building. MP for East Ham 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 specifications. It has also been co-produced with the young people who already call the building their home.

On site, there is a custom built sports hall with equipment for basketball, volleyball, football and many more activities, a music studio for budding musicians, a multimedia suite with green screen for film production and a fitness and wellbeing suite offering opportunities to keep fit and healthy. Additionally, youngsters will be able to learn to cook in a fully functional kitchen and prepare meals for their peers and families using food grown in the centre’s garden. Other facilities include a dance studio, IT suite and an arts and craft rooms.

Designs for the new centre were co-produced with Custom House young people and architects from Rivington Studios. Work on the centre started in February 2023 and involved demolishing the former Shipman Youth Zone and replacing it with a sustainable carbon neutral building which 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 uses. It also uses cross-laminated timber across the structure, reducing the carbon impact when compared to traditional materials like steel. London Legacy Development Corporation provided funding of more than £200,000 from their carbon offset fund to enable this particular aspect of the construction.

The centre will also offer services for babies, toddlers and their families as it will operate as a Family Hub. During the day, the site will offer a one stop shop for advice on a range of issues include perinatal classes, parenting assistance and stay and play sessions.

Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE said: “I remember the old Shipman Youth Zone from when I was a ward councillor and how valued it was by everyone who used it, despite the dilapidated condition it was in. I made a commitment to those young people that we would deliver a new youth zone that was as ambitious as they were, and I’m over the moon with the results. Co-designed with young people, the Shipman Youth Zone is a magnificent home for a wide range of activities and services, in state-of-the-art facilities and set in this beautiful, carbon neutral, net-zero building. Together with the co-located Family Hub, it stands as a beacon of our commitment that Newham will be the best place for children and young people to thrive.”

Shipman Youth Zone is open six days a week.

View the Shipman Youth Zone webpage for more information.

Published: 14 May 2024