The transformation of the old RSA building into a new youth innovation hub on the North Shore is now a sure thing thanks to funding from Foundation North and ongoing support from Devonport-Takapuna Local Board.
“Receiving this grant from Foundation North is massive,” says YES chief executive Sonia Thursby.
“It’s exactly what we’ve been waiting for and I’m confident it will propel us quite quickly towards the total required to get building work underway very soon.”
“This grant not only provides the majority of what is required, it also acts to provide certainty to our other supporters and funders who’ve been patiently waiting in the wings,” says Thursby.
“Over the last two years, we have worked with our community to shore up commitments from a number of enthusiastic local business owners, philanthropists and other funders."
“With wind in our sails, we can now work with those parties to secure the remaining funding required to make our carefully laid plans a reality,” she says.
The Shore Junction project has also secured valuable commitments from local businesses and private supporters and donors for equipment, finishing and furnishings.
“We have tremendous support from across the North Shore and North Harbour communities who are just as excited as we are about what the hub has to offer youth,” says Thursby.
The list of support is long and impressive and includes high-performance computer systems and professional software packages for design, research and the recording studio, to 3D printers, laser cutters and CNC machines, to free flooring, furniture and soft furnishing.
“We hope to secure the remaining funding required over the coming month or so and then be in a position to give a green light to construction to start in a few months time,” says Thursby.
What is Shore Junction?
Shore Junction will become New Zealand’s first free-to-access youth innovation hub for Auckland youth aged between 13 and 25 years of age.
It is located in the former North Shore RSA building on Mary Poynton Cresent in Takapuna.
It has been designed as a space for young people to connect, belong, and grow. It will provide youth-friendly facilities and integrated services that support innovation, learning, well-being and creativity, enabling young people to accelerate their potential and embark on their future pathways to success.
Shore Junction will function to create a mechanism for young people to redefine their aspirations, whilst also developing the critical skills, connections and networks that they need to succeed.
Design plans include spaces for a recording studio, lecture theatre, computer and engineering labs, art rooms exercise spaces, library, drama studio and space for study, reading and relaxing.
Shore Junction will enable youth to access subject expertise in STEAM through workshops and industry knowledge, mentoring programmes, life skills workshops, hands on learning through cutting edge equipment and enterprise schemes.
With hub support, young people will lay the foundations for their future roles as entrepreneurs, business leaders, community champions and influencers - tomorrow's generation of positive change makers.
Membership will be free for any young person between the ages of 13 and 25.
Read about the key pillars that will shape programme delivery at Shore Junction here.
Learn out about Shore Junction’s inclusive co-design approach here.
The journey to date:
- September 2016 - Devonport-Takapuna Local Board awarded the building’s lease to the Yes organisation – a non-profit youth group – and provided a $123,000 grant to enable the building’s interior to be demolished and new wiring, insulation and walls to be installed.
- November 2016 - A steering committee was formed and the Yes team worked with YOUNITE (Devonport-Takapuna Youth Board) on the building’s makeover, programme offerings and technology requirements.
- January 2017 - the centre’s name was agreed, and the first draft design were received and reviewed.
- May 2017 - design plans were finalised and approved by the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board for resource and building consent approval.
- May 2018 - focus groups were held at numerous North Shore schools and with key community youth providers. During Youth Week 2018, around 200 young people visited Shore Junction to share their ideas on development and programming.
- April 2019 – Foundation North approve significant funding for construction which can be drawn upon once the full and final funding goal is reached to enable construction work