The Salmon Youth Centre in Bermondsey is one of the largest youth centres in the UK. This has not always been the case!
From 1910-1974 the Salmon Youth Centre existed of three separate buildings. After a strategic review in 1996, the Trustees concluded that these buildings were a major obstacle to developing the work for modern needs. They were a ‘rabbit warren’ of corridors and isolated rooms. A Steering Group was set up including staff, trustees, young people from the clubs and local community members.
Salmon’s redevelopment was done in two phases. The building cost a combined investment of £11 million. Phase 1 was completed in March 2008 and houses a high quality four-court sports hall, climbing wall, theatre, dance studio, music suite, seminar and conference room, internet and social area, volunteers area, staff offices and a rooftop terrace.
Phase 2 is designed in two separate sections. The Salmon sold ‘air rights’ to Hyde Housing Association to build shared ownership housing in the upper levels of the building. The lower levels are for Salmon use and include a training kitchen, IT suite, counselling room, fitness studio, bicycle workshop, drop-in corner shop for providing support and advice services, and a Learning Centre to develop business skills among young people.
As a result of the redevelopment, the Salmon Youth Centre boasts the largest range of dedicated facilities and floor area of any dedicated youth centre in the UK. Project leaders developed the leading design through investigating and building upon current best practice in both the UK and in the USA.
The Salmon was cited for best practice in the government’s 2005 Youth Matters paper and in the 2007 Government Ten-Year Youth Strategy; Aiming High. It is also seen as a key partner in delivering Southwark Council’s Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP), and is identified as a ‘hub’ youth centre for the north of the borough.
- We have built new ‘world class’ facilities for young people in the heart of the inner city inspiring local young people to realise their potential.
- Capacity has been hugely increased with 12 major arts, sports and training spaces, 9 residential spaces and 12 office and support rooms.
- The new centre is enabling us to increase the number of visits from 7,000 to 50,000 per year
- All rooms are accessible with lifts to each floor and each floor being on a single level.
- The centre has an open and welcoming feel. The social area is the central hub with the sports hall, tuck shop, toilets and performance space on the four sides.
- The first floor has dedicated music, art, dance, IT and chill out spaces
- The second floor has a large conference room and 5 training and enterprise spaces.
- Swipe security, glass screens and moving walls make the centre easy to use and supervise.
- Each space is decorated and equipped to high standards raising expectations and enabling professional level activities
- The building is environmentally friendly with low temperature under-floor heating throughout, high insulation and a sedum roof on the sports hall.