The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Minister helps open new Norwich youth venue

OpenOutsideWeb2009: A new youth venue for young people in Norwich, funded by a Christian entrepreneur, has received the backing of a government minister as it was officially opened on Tuesday (October 27).

The Open Youth Venue at Bank Plain has been transformed from a nineteenth century bank into the country's first under-18s nightclub, which has a capacity of 1,100, a climbing wall and a media centre with free use of the internet.

The centre also boasts a dance studio, a games area, a reading area, a recording studio and a café. In addition, a skate park has been put up in the building for young people to use during half- term.

Young people aged 13 to 25 can also get advice and guidance about a range of issues there, including career, health and substance misuse advice.

Dawn Primarolo, the Minister for Children and Young People, was on hand to open the £12.5m venue, which has received funding from a range of sources. It is the first of the government's myplace venues, which aim to deliver world-class facilities to young people, to open in the country.

RussDacreOpen1WebShe said: “It is just so fantastic to be here in this iconic state-of-the-art facility. If you listen to young people and empower them to act on their hopes and aspirations, what you end up with is something like this that's needed and wanted, and is a true investment for young people. Now we have to support others in different parts of the country who are on the same journey.”

Project director Russ Dacre (pictured right), the son of Christian businessman Graham Dacre who has spent millions of his own money on the scheme, said: “This really is a world-class facility for young people. It will be open from 8am to 10.30pm from Monday to Friday, 9am until 11pm on Saturday and 10am until 4pm on Sunday, and is a safe, healthy and fresh environment.”

Read more of this story on EDP24
., 27/10/2009

To submit a story or to publicise an event please email: