Close to 2,000 local young people have voted to call the Barnet Youth Zone ‘Unitas’, which will now be the official name of London’s second £6m OnSide Youth facility.

25 young people of Barnet, made up of members from local partner community groups, have spent the last few months working with London based Design agency SEA Design to draw out the design for their new brand.

Dozens of different names, ideas and designs were narrowed down to just two, which then saw thousands of young people from across Barnet vote on their favourite. Unitas was the clear winner with over 67% of people agreeing on the name.

The young people involved, who are known as the Young People’s Development Group for the Youth Zone, are delighted with the result.

The Young People’s Development Group have jointly worked on the following statement: “We believe the brand reflects creating unity and coming together as one. Our development group has brought people of all ethnicities and abilities together and has given us a family we would never dreamed of. We hope to inspire other young people to join our family and help create a brighter future for our youth through Unitas Youth Zone.”

Barnet Youth Zone Chairman Keith Black said: “We strongly believe that young people should be able to influence the development of the Youth Zone, after all it is their facility. The young people involved in developing these two identities have really put their hearts and souls into creating a brand that encompasses the values they want their Youth Zone to represent. I am very proud of their efforts and I can’t thank the team at Sea Design enough for their help in creating this great design.”

The exciting Youth Zone plans will see a purpose-built Youth Zone open seven-days-a-week, with more than 20 activities on offer every session for young people aged 8-19, or up to 25 for those with a disability. The aim of the Youth Zone is to raise the aspirations, enhance prospects and improve health and wellbeing for young people in Barnet, by providing affordable access to a wide range of programmes, services and activities including sports, arts, music, employability and mentoring.

The Youth Zone which is to be developed on Montrose Playing Fields in Burnt Oak, near to Grahame Park and Colindale, will cost £1million per annum to run, OnSide will secure revenue funding for the first three years prior to opening from a combination of private sector and charitable trusts and grants.

Barnet Council is due to invest £4.2million towards the Youth Zone development costs as well as providing the site.

Councillor Reuben Thompstone, Chairman of Barnet Council’s Children, Education, Libraries and Safeguarding Committee, said: “I’m delighted that so many young people from across the borough have had the chance to play their part in deciding the identity of their Youth Zone. A tremendous amount of enthusiasm and thought went onto coming up with the two contenders and there was a clear favourite among the thousands of young people who voted. It is fantastic to see plans for the new Youth Zone taking shape with the help of Barnet’s young people.”

Barnet Youth Zone is scheduled to open in 2018 and will follow Barking and Dagenham Youth Zone as London’s second OnSide facility.

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