Masterton youth will have a place to call their own soon, thanks to Masterton District Council.
The council has signed a contract with Podular to supply a building next to the revamped skatepark site for a youth hub.
Designs have been approved and construction is scheduled to start in the new year.
The youth hub will include an observation deck, a small coffee kiosk/food counter, toilets [including a disabled access bathroom], space for skate equipment, a meeting space, and informal hang-out areas.
Young people will have the opportunity to determine how the spaces in the youth hub will be used.
Opportunities for work experience are possible, with any proceeds from activities on the site going towards supporting youth mental health in Masterton.
The council approved $538,570 for the project as part for the 2021-31 Long-Term Plan, with a $120,000 contribution from the Ministry for Youth Development and Department of Internal Affairs.
The project was initiated after discussions were held between the council and the young people of Masterton, and the youth hub is expected to be open by March.
The youth hub proposal was enthusiastically received at the careers expo held at Solway Showgrounds earlier this year, attended by secondary and intermediate school students.
Mayor Lyn Patterson said the hub would be a valuable addition to the skatepark.
"This will be a great asset for our community and an opportunity for our young people to really take ownership of the space they have had so much input into," she said.
"It has been great to see how involved our young people have been in the skatepark project."
Community and facilities manager Corin Haines said the contract was a significant milestone.
"The youth hub will provide a dedicated space for our rangatahi to enjoy with a focus on supporting their mental health, but it will be a space for the whole community to enjoy," he said.
"I am delighted we have signed the contract to bring this to fruition."
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