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Published 19th May 2011

Mayor and local children at the launch of the Youth Zone

A dedicated youth zone is launched this week as part of revamped community facilities in Middlesbrough.

The Whinney Banks Youth Zone is officially opened the evening of Tuesday, May 17, as part of the new Acklam Green Centre.

The Centre was built following the demolition of the former Whinney Banks Youth and Community Centre on Harehills Road.

The Youth Zone will be based on the second floor of the centre next door to the Integrated Youth Support Service.

Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon will launch the Youth Zone at 6pm on Tuesday, followed by a Youth Forum for young people living in Gresham, Middlehaven, University and Ayresome to discuss issues affecting their communities.

The Youth Zone will be used during the day by Positive Futures who work with young people from Acklam Grange on personal development programmes, while the IYSS provide a youth service on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings and also offer a drop-in advice and guidance service every Tuesday from 4pm to 6pm for 13 to 19-year-olds.

John Keelty, who heads Middlesbrough’s Integrated Youth Service, said: “Young people are the future of the town and the Whinney Banks Youth and Community Centre was greatly valued by them.

“The new centre is a much-needed modern facility better able to meet the need of modern young people.

“The launch of the Youth Zone is an important step in developing the range of services available, and I’m sure it will prove invaluable to a great many.”

About Acklam Green Centre

Features of the new building and its adjacent sports pitches include:


  • a large auditorium with electrically-powered retractable theatre-style seating, full audio-visual facilities and a sound and lighting control booth. A wedding licence has been applied for.
  • three meeting rooms
  • three extensive office suites. One will be occupied by Middlesbrough Council’s Integrated Youth Service team, two are available to rent
  • a café, with fully-equipped kitchen, takes up some of the lovely light and airy foyer area which is at the building’s heart
  • changing, shower and locker facilities for users of the games pitches outside
  • environmentally-friendly underfloor heating with heat recovery system, solar panels on the roof, high levels of insulation and water saving taps


  • a full-sized all-weather football pitch (this can be used as three five-aside pitches
  • a multi-use games area (MUGA) all-weather pitch
  • 42 car park spaces and provision for disabled drivers and cycle racks.


To book facilities at Acklam Green Centre, or to find out more, contact centre coordinator Donna Smith on 01642 811121 or

About West Middlesbrough Neighbourhood Trust (WMNT)

WMNT is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. For a decade it was the driving force behind the £52m Government funded New Deal for Communities (NDC) programme designed to regenerate neighbourhoods in West Middlesbrough. Since March 2010 and the end of NDC funding, the trust has been building on its vision to make West Middlesbrough a place where people are proud to live, work and raise their families, building on the improvements of the preceding ten years.

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