Youth club opened by legendary boxer Henry Cooper set for £1.2m revamp

A council and its partners have announced plans to completely revitalise and expand a youth club with £1.2million.

Lewisham council’s renovation work is due to begin this summer and will see the creation of a 3G football pitch and games area, gym and indoor sports, kitchen, and flexible learning spaces at Riverside Youth Club in Grove Street, Deptford.

As well as new facilities, a programme of activities and training will be led by Youth First youth workers and Millwall Community Trust coaches.

The revitalised Riverside Youth Club is expected to open its doors in spring 2024. Young people in the area have helped shape the plans by taking part in consultation activities.

The Riverside Youth Club will reopen next year (Picture: Lewisham council)

The council said it will continue to consult young people and the community in shaping the look and feel of spaces, and the activities ensure that the redevelopment meets their needs.

The £1.2million project is being delivered by the council in partnership with Youth First and Millwall Community Trust.

The council’s funding has been supported by a public campaign led by Youth First which resulted in substantial donations from private donors and trusts, as well as a grant of £745,000 from the Premier League, The FA and the Government’s Football Foundation.

The Riverside Youth Club was opened in 1967 by the legendary boxer Henry Cooper and has been used as a youth club for several decades, offering a safe space for informal learning and activities for young people aged eight to 18, for more than 50 years.

It was previously closed due to the poor condition of the building.

Lewisham councillor Chris Barnham said: “These ambitious plans will create a first-rate youth club with high-quality, safe and accessible facilities.

“We know that local people have waited patiently for news about the future of Riverside Youth Club and we’re delighted we’re able to work with partners and supporters to finally move forward with these plans.

“We hope that they are worthy of the site’s illustrious history and look forward to giving young people the youth club that they deserve.”

Pictured top: Riverside Youth Club is set to be revitalised (Picture: Lewisham council)

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